Namikango Mission

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Blessed and Refreshed

Oct 1, 2013

Our family was treated to a wonderful weekend on Lake Malawi by Dick and Suzi Stephens during their last week in the country. The place we stayed, Cool Runnings, in addition to being a great place to stay, is the initiator of several different community driven programs in the Salima area, which the Malawi Project have helped to support over the last several years. We enjoyed having some time to visit and learn from several different efforts they currently have in progress during our few days on the lake.

But the true enjoyment of the weekend was getting to be on Africa’s third largest lake. Lake Malawi was named the Lake of Stars by David Livingstone when he first came through Malawi, due to the lanterns of night fishermen which can be seen from the shore.

Lake Malawi holds the largest variety of Chichlid fish of any lake in the world. One such fish, Chambo, a delicious Malawian favorite, is a fish that is only found in the Lake.

For us, the chance to see yet another beautiful part of this country, as well as spending time with good friends, was a much needed rest. Thank you Dick and Suzi for the thoughtful gift!

– Ben Hayes

Additional Notes about Lake Malawi

Other wildlife that is found in the area includes crocodiles, hippopotamus, monkeys, and a significant population of African Fish Eagles that feed off fish from the lake.

While fishing is a major industry for the local villagers, Lake Malawi is said to produce more varieties of tropical aquarium fish than anywhere else in the world.

One of the drawbacks that blight the beauty of the area is the presence of Bilharzia – a severe, parasitic disease. However, Bilharzia is not a problem to people wading or bathing in the fresh water of the lake. But they could contract it if they waded in streams, ponds, or swamps of contaminated water near the lake. The parasite is carried and spread by snails.