From Netherlands to Likoma Island, Lake Malawi

Abby Lane | February 1, 2020

For a portion of March, we at Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island (Lake Malawi) had an amazing opportunity to host four extremely talented craftsmen from the Netherlands who came to the island to help train and hone our staffs’ skills over a range of areas. We had Didi who is an all-rounder/painter, David, another all rounder who helped train our staff’s general plumbing skills with installing a new top feeding outlet for one of our rooms – an excellent team effort combining David’s know-how and our staff’s eagerness to learn! We hosted Koos, an expert carpenter who collaborated with our carpenters on new and creative ways to create beautifully handmade doors and windows for or rooms.

Lastly, we had the plaster and concrete magician, Jamie. Jamie and his Kaya team successfully tested out a few different ways to redo the floors in our rooms, trying new methods to try and reduce the amount of concrete and other materials used to further “greenify” our rooms.

It was not all work though! Our Dutch Craftsmen had the opportunity to partake in a few Kaya Mawa activities, as well as some personal community activities. Koos, an avid scuba diver, had the chance to go and check out some of the most amazing dive spots at Lake Malawi, spotting our hundreds of species of endemic cichlids – a beautiful range of freshwater fish that vary in colours from red to blue to yellow.

On a few afternoons, Team Netherlands tried their hands at wakeboarding – another fun Kaya activity! They were able to visit Likoma Island’s historic St. Peters Cathedral for a service, and even catch a local football game!

At the end of their 10 days here on the island, we achieved a number of things – not only physically, like painting rooms and fixing swimming pools, but a trade of skills from modern to basic – finding a happy medium that will give Kaya the rustic charm it is known for, but improving its carbon footprint and greenification of our island. The Dutch Team came away from this experience with a spirit of Likoma, a certain togetherness that is such a rare find.

See more about Kaya Mawa here


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