During the dry season here in Malawi, a dusty haze slowly envelops the country. I’ve never seen this in other places I’ve lived, but beginning in about July, this dust creeps up from the ground and slowly takes over the sky. Long distance objects slowly melt into this dust as visibility slowly decreases. By the time October rolls around, the once massive Mulanje Mountain has been gone for months, and the impressive Zomba peaks can no longer be seen from Namikango.
But then something magical happens. As the rains come towards the middle of November, they beat this dusty menace back into the ground. It happens quite suddenly, overnight, and the air clears into a near-perfect crisp. Suddenly, massive mountains dominate the landscape, and smaller topographies, once forgotten, reemerge to shine green and gray again. Mulanje stands most impressive in the early mornings as the sun is rising, and in the late afternoons as the sun is setting. During both periods the sun slams off its sheer face, clouds pool about its feet, and I am reminded of just how incredibly beautiful this country is. Meanwhile Zomba mountain looks straight out of a movie, glistening water down its cliffs. Add to all this a massive riot of green vegetation and flowers that seem to outdo themselves on a daily basis, and the whole view can become a bit overwhelming!