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Guy on a Bike – Sat 9 June 2018, Day 189


Staying with Paul and Cornelia Siljeur, Lilongwe
Distance 6996
Total from Amsterdam 12396

Brrr, it’s cold. Lay in bed till about 8 am while the Siljeur family did the Standard bank 10 km walk. We watched the NZ France game, NZ  winning convincingly. They arrived back with the SA High Commissioner, Thenjiwe Mtintso, who wanted to meet us, a lovely lady. Who would have thought two old scruffy mzungus would be rubbing shoulders with the SA High Commissioner and her Deputy Director, Paul Siljeur !! Peter and Paul watched the Oz Irish game that was won by the Ozzies. I joined Cornelia and we dropped Sarah off at a small craft fair (entrance fee of K1000) then went to an upmarket hotel, boutique shop where Cornelia bought friends a lovely wooden salad set. They leave Malawi soon, their container getting packed on Tuesday. We stopped in at Chipiku supermarket to buy a chocolate for Paul’s 51st birthday today and also managed to buy three packets of jelly beans and one pkt of jelly jube jubes … fuel for tough days. We also got two bottles of benzine yesterday and hoping this clean fuel will sort out the Whisperlite problem. The High Commissioner invited us to tea at her residence at 5 pm for one hour. Cornelia baked a chocolate birthday cake which we took along to the HC’s residence. The HC, Peter and I had Malawi gin and we thought we’d have the cake but she had other ideas … samosas, chicken legs, yummy chakalaka, salad, fresh fruit and dates, dried fruits, mixed nuts, chips, chocolates, ending with Cornelia’s cake and Bar One ice cream.

The HC may have felt sorry for us, trying to fatten us up for the long slog home. We left with a bag of goodies and she was off to another engagement, a dinner. On arriving home the goodie bag contained about 2 kg of mixed nuts, a box of Toffifee chocs, mint imperials, dried fruit and Amarula chocs … padkos but we’ll share everything with Paul and Cornelia. Thenjiwe Mtintso was the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC during the Mandela era and is one of the ANCs respected veterans. She is 68, had a stroke last year but is a live wire who loves being surrounded by guests and visitors. Back at the Siljeur house we watched the SA England rugby match, SA beating England 42 39. Paul’s diplomatic posts have taken them to Mexico, Venezuela, Beijing China and now Malawi. Each posting is 4 years then they go back to Pretoria for two years before going to another country for 4 years. Tomorrow we need to clean bike chains get a load of washing done before going over the road to a farewell lunch. Enough for today. Time to hit the hay. Night night xx

– The upmarket crafty store where everyone seemed to be buying farewell gifts

– Hotel where fancy gift shop is located

– The High Commissioner,

Thenjiwe Mtintso who at 68 had just completed a 10 km walk

– Our kind and generous josts, Paul and Cornelia, his Swiss wife

– Invited for tea … had drinks instead at the HC’s residence