Some years ago I visited Malawi Institute of Tourism in BT. I expected to
find a school training tour guides, tout operators, rangers, interpreters
including simultaneous interpreters, hotel waiters, chambermaids, etc. None
of these. What I found was a school financed by the Hotels and Hotel Tax
dedicated entirely to training cooks for hotel restaurants. Nothing else. I
I checked if there was a tour bus and a history trail of Blantyre. None.
I gave up.
Returning to my station, I talked to a colleague, an editor of David
Livingstone’s journals and George Shepperson’s former PhD student. We
hatched the following ideas and notes.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a tourist map of Malawi with legends such as
Livingstone’s Trails, Chilembwe\s Trail, Bishop Mackenzie’s Trail, The
Trails, The Yao and Lhomwe Trails,etc Kamuzu’s Trail (from Kasungu to
Hartley, (new name, please?) etc; Gamitto”s Trail from Tete through Malawi
to the Court of King Kazembe in Northwest Zambia 1831-32; all these Trails
to show the routes or suggested routes, these “ancient” people took?
Secondly organize history, education, botany, zoology, etc students,
professors and other history buffs to WALK these trails during their
holidays, sleep in the open, sit around a fire in the evenings to recount
the students’ observations and compare them with those of the original
travellers’? The students could write reports afterwards and earn credit.
These expeditions could include students from Mozambique, Zambia,
Scotland, USA, etc and their professors.
This would fit nicely into Mzee’s ambition of getting study tours for
students on the cheap; but would in fact be of the highest educational
value. And history could be something living and breathing.
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