The last bit of Malawi and a double reunion…

The last parts, we take 'em!And so, finally, we left Monkey Bay for what would be the very last time. It is a shame that a place of such beauty, that meant so much in our trip, became such a morale bashing prison. However, our spirits were somewhere amongst the stars, as Doutzen pleasantly spun her engine and took us towards the next border. This border would of course not be crossed without Noflik, or at least the knowing of what happened to our now three year young Dobermann. Is she alive? Is she not? Is she eaten? Is she pregnant? For the how many-eth time? How many bastard Noflik’s are walking the earth now? Would she be turned in to a scruffy and vile streetdog, battling each day for survival amongst the ugly scruffy and vile streetdogs of some Malawian city? We didn’t know, we only knew that the Norwegian lady that we left her with, had moved back to her Scandinavian country of origin some odd months ago and left our loyal friend with a boy she trusted, named ‘Shadrek’. And so our quest began.

Filming the search for NoflikAfter an easy trip, in which Marten and Henk could not suppress smiling like simpletons for being on the road again, Kasungu was reached. Here, at the Teacher’s College, we started asking of the whereabouts of Noflik. No one knew a thing. Not beneficial to the happy mood we were in. At last, someone remembered the Norwegian lady and told us that Shadrek’s brother worked at the Kasungu Inn.

At the Kasungu Inn, things did not become easier. “Hello, we’re looking for Shadrek.”
“We don’t know a Shadrek…”
“No, we know, but his brother works here.”
“Okay, what’s his name then?”
“No clue, but his brother’s name is Shadrek. And he’s got our dog.”
“We don’t allow dogs here, sir…”
“Fine! But we’re looking for Shadrek’s brother!”
“Why don’t you call Shadrek…?”
“Well, we don’t know him…”

This went on for about half an hour, which is not even that long in Africa, but we did get a phone number. We called it. On the other end of the line, a voice replied that yes, he was Shadrek’s brother, and our dog was safe and sound at his families house. Could we meet him at this local restaurant in about half an hour? Sure we could!

At the restaurant our watches told us we were now waiting for longer than two hours and doubt struck our normally so peaceful minds. What if his ‘yes-your-dog-is-fine’ turned out to be a variation of the African mentality of not being able to say ‘no’? What if Noflik was not fine at all? Finally he sent us a text. “Almost there, meet me at Standard Bank” Sure. Good. Whatever. After another hour of waiting at this bank, another text. It read “In a mini-bus on the M1, follow the bus with registration number 23srt8i9”. What kind of fox hunt/kidnap and ransom thing was this turning out to be? We had no clue what to do, and so we sent him a text saying “We’ve got no clue what to do”. He told us not to worry and whaddayaknow, ten minutes later he was there, got in our car and showed us the way.

Look who's back!In the dark, for it was now way past the afternoon, we drove into a little village, cramped with clay huts that were cramped with maize because it is harvest season, we stopped our car and were not afraid for being robbed or whatsoever, because we’ve got beards. People with beards don’t get robbed, because you never know what they’re up to. So, without fear, we walked through this dark clay village and wondered what had become of our dog and lo and behold! There she came, stretching the chain that a boy held. We figured the boy had to be Shadrek. (Later it turned out to be… Shadrek! Evidently, our telepathic powers are growing.) Obviously, the reunion was of great joy and the villagers told us they’d never seen such a wonderful dog and that it had saved many lives, amongst which a little boy that was bound to die in a fire, but was dragged from the burning hut by our Noflik. After this, the village chief decided that no house was to be built from wood any more and only clay was allowed as it doesn’t really burn . Different story.

With some monthly wages we thanked the family that, truth be told, took very good care of Noflik and were on our way. The Zambian border and customs were no match for our neatly polished bluffing skills that effectively masqueraded the fact that our papers were not completely in order. ‘Stamp-stamp’, the stamp-lady made her stamp say, and with that, we drove into Zambia.

The next day, we drove on in a way that gives new life to the words Easy Rider until a Landrover overtook us. In this Landrover, it soon became clear, were some people that we’d met a long, long time ago and didn’t expect to see again. This coincidental meeting was just what we needed and lunged us straight to a new project. Who are these people and what is this project, we hear you ask. Well dear reader, you’ll read that in our next update.

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