Just another WordPress.com site


I love Malawi and this is a biased pro-Malawi blog by someone who loves the fantastic natural beauty of Malawi. Rather than grumble about various things in Malawi, as some expats do from time to time as a kind of hobby, I am interested in balancing the negatives here with the positives.

My family are Amelia (wife) and as at July 2014 the children are six (Ruth), three (David) and one (Daniel). My parents each came to Malawi in 1965 where they met. In 1971 my father was ordained and inducted in Zomba Presbytery by the Blantyre Synod of the CCAP. He asked for a rural congregation where no one could speak English so as to force himself to learn Chichewa – this plan succeeded. In the history of this part of the world the original Scottish presbyterian missionaries handed over to the indigenous African church. So here the Church of Scotland Mission (following David Livingstone) became the CCAP (Church of Central Africa Presbyterian). My father was the last Church of Scotland missionary to be a regular church minister in rural and urban congregations here in Blantyre Synod. He was also only the second Church of Scotland missionary (I believe) to have been ordained and inducted by the African church here after foreign mission handed over to local church authority. So in some ways we are at the end of a long line connection between Scotland and Malawi.

Of course the first sentence of this ‘About’ is not true. DC Scott was also ‘better’ than me in the area of written communication.


19 responses

  1. Kate Evans

    This is wonderful! I can’t wait for the next post!

    May 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm

  2. Stuart Lawson

    Hi Douglas, Amelia, Ruth and David! Great to read your blog – my wife Helen and I (along with our baby Eilidh) are on our way to Blantyre as I undertake a position at Phoenix International, and it’s been a pleasure to read your thoughts thus far. Helen studied at Saint Andrews High about 11 years ago, so remembers Blantyre well, but I on the other hand am a little wet behind the ears!

    Anyway, great to read the blog and I’ll keep an eye out for future postings,



    July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    • Douglas

      Hi Stuart and family

      Thanks for your comment, kind of you to say. I was at Phoenix Primary School as a child and my daughter Ruth had just served some time in the pre-nursery there. I also was for about a year at St Andrews primary but Phoenix was much closer to where we lived so we moved there.

      Look forward to meeting you when you arrive. Don’t forget to ask any questions in the meantime. We followed Kate and Sandy Evans blog over at Muli Bwanji before we came out so don’t forget to have a look at that also.

      July 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

  3. Hi Douglas and Amelia
    I posted acomment that appears for some unknown reason under ‘Malawi National Anthem post -please check there
    look forward to hearing

    September 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    • Douglas

      Hi Gabriela

      Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Thank you for your comments. I am just about to publish a post on our time on Likoma Island. There is a picture of you and Dan. I hope that is ok. Let us know what you think.


      October 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm

  4. Hi

    Contact me πŸ™‚


    September 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

  5. David Conn

    Hi Douglas,

    Am really enjoying reading this blog! Is some of the best tourist information for Malawi on the internet!


    September 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  6. Sara

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts! My family (husband, and three children, 7, 4
    1, and I) are preparing for a 6 wk adventure in Malawi at the end of this month. I will definitely be reading through all your posts! One question I can’t get answered is whether or not I should bring carseats for my children. Any opinion? We will be there while my husband is volunteering at a hospital (he is a medical student).

    January 4, 2012 at 5:45 am

    • Douglas

      Hi Sara

      Thank you for the comment. We have a 3 yr old and a baby and did take car seats. I would say do take car seats unless you can find a way beforehand of buying some in Malawi.

      I will try to directly email you a contact through whom a lot of information and ads go. Perhaps through her network you can ask and find out if someone is selling.

      Which hospital will your husband be going to?

      I hope that you find some ideas for things to do from this blog.

      I am trying to think about whether we left a car seat in Blantyre – I will ask my wife, she will remember better. We did bring one back.


      January 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

  7. please add some of your photos to the Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/malawi/

    February 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm

  8. peter kadawati

    Hallo The tailors,we are happy to hear that you are back to malawi.Hope to see you soon due to office schedule we have been un able to find time of seen your family.We love your blog.

    May 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

  9. Susan Davis

    I just stumbled across your blog by accident. Wonderful to see all your Mlanje photos. I lived in Blantyre (Jackson Road, Nyambadwe, from 1971 to 1975 with husband , and young children (who were at St.Andrew’s school.) I loved Malawi, and Mlanje was my favourite place.

    June 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm

  10. Audrey Forrest

    Hi Douglas. You won’t remember me!! I knew you and your parents when your dad was minister at Innellan, Toward and Inverchaolin. I used to com from Dunoon and stay overnight and sing with my guitar at the services. I was so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing as I only found out in the local paper. I didn’t realise they had moved-the Meadows address was the last one I had. I would very much like to write to Eleanor. I’m sorry to post this here, but wasn’t sure how to go about finding one of you-facebook is no good since I haven’t seen you or your brothers since you were children. Your family look lovely. Co-incidentally, my 16 year old daughter is going to southern Malawi in June to help in constructing a health clinic. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. Please pass my love and condolences onto your mum. Audrey Forrest, Dunoon

    April 6, 2013 at 12:28 am

    • Douglas

      Hi Audrey

      I am very sorry that my activity online on this blog has been so dormant over the last few months. Thank you for your comment. Well, June has come and gone so I suspect your daughter has returned home. That is a pity – it would have been nice to say hello.

      We are still here. Where I am right now the internet connection is quite slow but I am trying to get my email up on another tab so I can email you about my mum. By the way – you can contact me on facebook although I have been quite quiet on that also recently.

      I have now emailed you. Please let me know if it does not come through.


      July 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  11. Thank You


    I am going to Malawi this summer and I have just randomly stumbled upon this blog and I have noticed you are or were in St Andrews which is where I am staying. Are you still here?

    April 12, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    • Douglas

      Hi, no. We had a very nice time in St Andrews and my mother is nearby in Anstruther. So if you fancy a fish supper and some good discussion on Malawi – you know where to go.

      July 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

  12. RachelPhillips

    Hello Douglas and family!

    Really enjoying your blog from my night shift in london. Its remarkable how similar your comments and childhood memories are to mine e.g. competition to see who spots the lake first on car trps to the lake. I was also brought up in Malawi by church of scotland missionary types and have returned many times.. I have an opportunity to come out to Blantyre for 6 months and work in the paediatric ward there for 6 months next year…exactly what I have always wanted to do! But for some reason I am a little nervous – 6 months seems very short and unsettling.. Wish I was going with a spouse and kids and staying for ages! How long have you been there now? and how long are you guys planning on staying? Im definitely going to follow your advice on how to buy a car if I do come out.. Do you know any families who would be up for a female lodger? Would be great to hit the ground running and slot into family life rather than trying to set up by myself for just a few months… Hows your chichewa going? I managed to find a lovely malawian guy in Walthamstow north london to give me a few refresher lessons!
    Please keep writing…

    July 29, 2013 at 2:53 am

  13. Hello! I just read the post you made a while back on Daryl Martin’s death in Majete. I just recently learned that his death made larger news than I would have ever thought… I am his oldest daughter, and it was an honor to read your post. Thank you. I just started following this blog as well; I hope you and your family are enjoying your adventures! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts, as I’ve yet to read much more than your post on my father, Daryl. Anyway, thank you! And be blessed!!

    August 14, 2013 at 3:17 am

    • Douglas

      Thank you for saying that and for your comment. I was hesitant about writing about this because (i) I did not know all the facts – I had only heard about it second hand, (ii) people who do write (I mean journalists) for the public about personal matters affecting others often get the facts wrong and seem to have little regard for the hurt that they can cause and (iii) I was conscious that members of the family may read the post.

      So I tried to be circumspect about what I wrote and to keep to the little that I did know.

      Fortunately, (I think your mother), wrote to explain what happened in a comment below the post – and that is really the best way for the facts to be communicated.

      August 14, 2013 at 6:50 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s