• 31 March 2016

I was heading down from Zambia. Let’s get Malawi done since it is on the way.

I was heading down from Zambia. Let’s get Malawi done since it is on the way.

I was heading down from Zambia. Let’s get Malawi done since it is on the way. 300 169 Gürkan Genç


The police on the Tanzania border made month calculation while checking my passport. My Tanzania visa was 90 days. I had entered the country at November 7th, 2015. If I would roughly calculate 3 months and leave on 7th February 2016, I knew I would end up in jail. You have to calculate exactly 90 days if you use visas until the last day. My visa was running out on 5th February and I was leaving the country on February 1st. They calculated and saw that everything was in order. So they said thank you and goodbye.

As always at the border gate ordinary people surrounded me to ask if I need change. Especially if you have dollar or pound, they change higher than the bank rate. But I didn’t want to change dollars which I had, beside I gave all the Tanzanian money I had.

When I came to the Malawi border police they took me to a room. They asked my purpose of visit and my job. So I explained everything. When I told their visa is the most expensive visa I have gotten so far and it cost 100 USD the officer got surprised. Either he has no clue how much a visa costs or Malawi Embassy in Tanzania priced the visa excess. You can’t get a visa from border gate. Definitely you have to get your visa from Embassies.

After I crossed the border all was quiet on the road, there was no car. Humm, then there were not so many goods transported from Tanzania to Malawi. All the trucks which I saw on the road were going to Zambia. In the first grocery store I went in this country the situation become clear because each product from milk products to yoghurt products or to drinks were “made in Zambia”

Faranji in Ethiopia, Muzungu in Kenya and Tanzania, now I am Azungu in Malawi. Sometimes they call Muzungu but I always hear Azungu. At common destinations of white men kids do not beat about the bush. They directly shout MONEY MONEY MONEY! Even they run after me in some areas. In areas where the white man rarely shows up, kids want pencils or candies. Some areas which I had stopped for lunch, parents tell their kids to ask for money from me, the Azungu. I gave biscuits to one or two instead of money and I smiled looking at their families.

The people in Malawi speak English very good, even the best sub-Saharan country I’ve been so far.

I continue to sleep here and there in villages on the way. One day when I stopped in front of an old guesthouse, I saw few Europeans on the balcony eating, they looked at me and say hi. Then I met the guys.

–          Where are you from?

–          New Zealand. Where are you from?

–          Turkey. Are you tourists?

–          No, we are teachers. Chemistry, physics and geography. We are the teaching staff the in public school for 6 months.

–          You’re great. So who is paying for all expenses?

–          The people are helping us, moreover the state supports us.

Sending teachers here to work is a provoking subject. Even I searched the agreements between the two countries on the internet, I couldn’t find out anything.

The underground sources from the territory of Malawi is substantially too much. All of mines which I saw on my way were belonging to European companies. Also there are uranium and iron mines in the country. Diamonds, sapphires and some similar gemstones are quite a lot. There is an increase in the number of the gold mines in the country in the last 3 years. Even it seems that England owns all the mines, researches keep going in many places. England also owns the most efficient tea fields in the country.

Since I jump from a topic to another topic let me tell about other foreigners who I saw in another village. They were British and they were teaching advanced farming and irrigation techniques to the people. In another village I saw works on pregnancy and women’s rights covered by Norwegian government.

These places which I traveled in were the most remote places. I mean, I am not talking about capitals. So who have been undertaking these works? Students, new graduates. I wonder, is there are any young people in Turkey who will come down here to work like this? Of course there will be some but not too many. Which parents will send their daughters or sons here places of malaria disease, Ebola, yellow-fever. I mentioned in a previous article. Students from USA had been Malaria, they all had been treated and they were continuing to work. Forget about diseases, the number of young people who can speak English properly after graduation are very low in Turkey.

When I was passing through Tunisia, I met with the teachers sent by Ministry of Education of Turkish government. Education was to be given in local schools. Tunisia’s official language is French and Arabic. Only one of these twelve teachers could speak English, so and so. Well, what are you going to do there? Let me tell. The teachers working abroad get extra salary. This is the case: They have sent teachers to Tunisia who were desk officers in the Ministry of Education for ten years to teach people. They have no such thing as business ethics.

If I were Prime Minister Davutoglu, I would employees of some state institutions order to take new exams and practical performance tests every six months. 🙂

What are we doing in the region as Turkey? We do not exist in Malawi yet. We are trying to build mosques in these regions but are not given the building plot. Well, when we say that we are going to build mosques, they just say “bukra, inshallah”. They don’t give the land. I am not saying that we should not build mosques. Okay, let’s do. But then? “For instance, they give us that land and let we make green park and put TIKA symbol. Awesome.” Then what? Look, we built a stadium for Comoros Islands in 2012. Well then what?


Dude, do you know the teachers awaiting to be appointed in our country!! Just select the ones knowing a foreign language, select the ones whose parents will say: “let our daughter, son see the world.” Give your support, release them to schools in Africa. So we acquire merit in God’s sight, then let’s see what is going to happen. What is such an attempt going to change? (I don’t know what is going to change but I know that people who are consultants in this wheel, are clueless.)


Before I came to Mzuzu, I was pedaling through such an area which Konya and Soke plains in Turkey can’t cope with. If they would have high-tech agricultural products, they would hold first place. I can say that I didn’t see such a plain in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi. It can feed all Africa by itself. The problem in here is they don’t own the plain. They just cultivate. The money they earn monthly is 180 USD. So this the situation, whom feed these fields? Europe. The products of South Africa are so many in Tanzania and Malawi’s groceries. They export what they produce to Europe and import from South Africa products which they can produce on their own fields but don’t produce.

They don’t have fruit variety in Malawi compared to the other sub-Saharan countries which I traveled in. Only mangoes are sold on the roadside. Also pineapple or coconut can grow at this high altitude. But I haven’t seen one in 300 kilometers.

I spent 3 days in Mzuzu. The last 5 days I have been using antibiotics, this is the first time since I have been on this journey. Not for I am sick. The wound on my leg still didn’t heal after 3 weeks but instead become larger and got infected. Every morning I was removing large amount white fluid from the wound. It was hard to take care of it on the road. The alcohol wipes finished in Tanzania. I couldn’t find alcohol and they didn’t give me disinfectants in the hospital. How to give they don’t possess.Band-aids are finished too. The first thing that I did in Malawi was to go to the hospital. I found the medications and started the treatment. Now it is fine and I got a rest also. I can go back to pedaling.

In Mzuzu I had the opportunity to use the bicycle taxis. They are taking 2 kilometers distance for 80 penny. They go everywhere by bike, ramps etc. For 6 years I’m riding on bicycle I have never seen such an understanding of bicycle culture like in Malawi and Kenya, good job 🙂



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