Trip to Green Pastures and Still Waters

 

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Chris has had this hat since before we started dating (ask us sometime for some good stories about it when we first started dating) but this is probably the best use of the hat ever!

Chris’ birthday was a few weeks ago. I love buying gifts but without malls, Amazon and easy ways to take things home in a few months, a regular gift didn’t seem like the best idea. And after all, Chris isn’t really a “gift” guy and would prefer an experience to a new “thing” (unless, of course, that “thing” is a  Logos lexicon or commentary… he doesn’t seem to dislike those at all!). So I decided to plan for a vacation for his birthday (ok… and our Christmas presents to each other, it was a splurge trip!)! After planning and researching a different trip, another missionary wife let me know about a special offer available at a place called Chelinda Lodge in Nyika National Park and we decided to go!

The drive to Nyika is about 10 hours, 3-4 of them over poorly maintained dirt roads. We split the drive there into two days and stayed in Mzuzu (which, interestingly, is named after a white person’s mispronunciation of the Chichewa word for mosquito). It was still a long drive but, oh my, the drive was so worth it.

After entering the park (2-3 hours from the lodge), we saw an elephant from a distance! It was so cool! And then about 30 minute from the lodge, this herd was in the road.

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Interspersed with the zebra were roan antelope which are almost cooler than the zebra, I think. We found one on a later drive… I love their black & white faces!

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We stayed at Chelinda Lodge for three nights. We went on three game drives and saw more roan, bushbuck, eland, reedbuck, duiker (all different species of antelope – and so beautiful), zebra, warthog, hyena, an owl, other cool birds, wildflowers (like orchids, lupine, gladiolas and iris all growing in the wild) and such breathtaking scenery and sunsets! We went on a few walks as well but really enjoyed the amazing quite and solitude (we were the only ones staying at the lodge) and getting to rest and read by the fire in the evenings and spend time together.

We really needed that time. The semester (4 modules) finished on November 30 and we were both really tired, disconnected and distracted. We needed to see a beautiful side of Malawi and get away from the noise and interruptions of the city. We needed time to spend together and be refreshed.

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This was our view when we arrived at the lodge for the first time. It reminded us of Psalm 23 (Chris’ translation):

A Psalm of David

Yahweh is my shepherd

I shall never become needful

In pastures of green grass, He causes me to lie down

Beside waters of resting places, He escorts me

My soul He restores.

He leads me in firm paths of correctness for the sake of His name

Even when I should walk in a valley of impenetrable gloom,

I shall never be fearing harm because You are with me

Your rod and Your staff, they are comforting me.

You set and order before me a table prominently before my attackers

You refresh with the oil my head, superabundance is my cup.

Surely good and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life

And I shall return into the house of Yahweh for length of days.

God is so faithful to give us what we need and we are really grateful to have been allowed the resources to be able to take this trip. He used it to refresh us in so many ways, mostly in Him!

Here are a few more pictures from our trip!

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Our chalet and the “donkey boiler” they use to heat water
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Sunset on the first night

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Shadows and the Land Cruiser we took out on our game drives
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There is a pine tree forest behind the lodge. The British planted it for a paper mill before they realized the roads are impassable in rainy season!
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The dam that is visible from the lodge (you can also see the lodge and a handsome man here)
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Roan and sunshine and green grass and artsy lens flare
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Bushbuck. They are smaller and have spots and stripes on the legs. Such cool animals!
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The view from the Northern Loop! From here you can see into Zambia!
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Another view from the Northern Loop
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Roan and hills. Can you tell we’re a little obsessed?
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If you don’t take a selfie on vacation, you probably didn’t go on vacation…

Last one, I promise! A normal sight in Malawi…

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A busy village market on the roadside as we drove up to Mzuzu

Thank you for taking time to read about our trip and keep up with us!

 

 

3 thoughts on “Trip to Green Pastures and Still Waters

  1. Michelle Khalil

    Thanks for sharing pictures and your experience with us. The translation of Psalm 23 really ministered to me too. Love you guys. How are you adjusting to everything? I’m sorry i havent written, it’s been a crazy school year teaching and in school- but I graduate in two days! Yay! Jeff also graduates with his bachelors on Saturday. Love to you both, Michelle

    On Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 10:03 AM Mullins Adventures wrote:

    > ashleyrosanne posted: ” Chris’ birthday was a few weeks ago. I love > buying gifts but without malls, Amazon and easy ways to take things home in > a few months, a regular gift didn’t seem like the best idea. And after all, > Chris isn’t really a “gift” guy and would prefer ” >

    Like

  2. Sharon Mullins

    What a wonderful time you had together. Hope you get to do it again before you leave. I don’t know if your parents told you that Dr. Olsen got baptized two sundays ago. He have been a beliver for 50 years but had never been baptized. He is so quite that I was nice to hear so much about is life in Christ. Kathleen and her family are in Cal. visiting Romys family. Julian also had a warm weather birthday. Sunday will be grandpa and my 57th year married. I met him when I was 13! I have to go now so hope all will go well with you both and have many wonderful things to remember about this time.
    Love Grandma

    Like

  3. Dorothy Sherrard

    Hi Chris & Ashley! So happy to see you got a restful & beautiful vacation. We miss you guys! Uncle Joe & I got to attend Michelle’s & Jeff’s graduations this past weekend! Michelle now has her Masters degree in Teaching. Jeff now has a Bachelors degree in Business Management. It was so good to see them! They are coming to Sacramento for Christmas. My grandson Elijah is such a joy to be with! He’s 3 years old now. He’s going to preschool now part time. He loves everyone & is so full of life! Praying for you both! Have a blessed & joyous Christmas! With love from Aunt Dorothy.

    Like

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