First, due to some technical issues the pictures of the Phil Walton Soccer School on the streets of Nkhata-bay were missed from the previous post: Mayoka Village, Nkhatabay . The first steps to Malawi World Cup qualification have begun.
Second, this post also explains the wonderful surprise the girls arranged for me Saturday night. I had missed an impromptu performance from Michael Mountain in the bar Friday night and was giving Violet a hard time about the quality of the video clip that she gave me for the post. I had missed out and was sulking about it all Saturday. And when I sulk you know about it (Marc- think Halibut fishing in Alaska). To make matters worse, the three girls deliberately kept singing his hit song “How Big Is the Lake” ALL day to make me feel worse. Girls are cruel (and sneaky as this was their plan).
After a lazy morning, Brave and Carys and Natalia and I, took the two canoes for a spin. Literally, as we capsized ours amid some rocks. Brave and Carys paddled on, not knowing (allegedly), until they heard Natalia laughing while I was convinced the canoe was sinking (as I held her hat and the oar). It was almost another Kilimanjaro moment. After various failed attempts to right the canoe a local fisherman paddled over in his traditional dugout canoe, bailed out the water and helped Brave drag it on to the rocks. Again, reminds me of my fishing prowess in Alaska, specifically when I fell over in the waders.
To dry out we had a few early afternoon drinks in our room and we wandered into the village for a spot of lunch, bumping in Sam again. Next Brave and I peeled off for a much talked about ‘mano-a-mano’ game of pool, back at the Njaya Lodge. I’m far too much of a gentlemen to mention the result but Brave came second. At least I restored a little bit of male pride after the canoeing fiasco.
We rolled back to Mayoka Village, the girls got all dressed up, had a few shots….
…and we all headed to the bar. Michael Mountain was there having a drink. Clueless, I invited him to have a drink with us and we all sat down by the Lake and the aqua station (perilously close to the damn canoes). Violet asked if he had brought his guitar and he had – no musician leaves home without their instrument I thought – then she asked if he would play us a song: and he played “Happy Birthday Phil” (video but sound only!!) with our own lyrics, even referencing Fishani’s cake and with a chorus from Brave. These crafty girls, after seeing my disappointment at missing his performance the previous night, had booked him for my birthday party. He was excellent, joined in the tequila shots, and played song after song (we now have his CD).
And then, of course, the song I had been waiting for: How Big Is the Lake? (video!!)
After the performance came some very touching gifts; a shirt from Natalia (as big as sail) and a belt from Isabel who said “sorry, I think it’s too small – I can change it”. What are they trying to tell me?? And then a painting (that was still damp) from Brave and Carys of The Lake with ‘Waltons in Malawi’ along the top. Here’s the picture (not sure where Isabel is…) with the artist, Alex.
Isabel appeared so a proper group photo with Mr. Mountain (who’s looking at bit wild).
And you imagine the rest of the night…
What a day/night/weekend. And it wasn’t even my birthday yet… I was to be spoiled even more.