Book Review : The Road to Malambanyama
The road to Malambanyama is Phyllis Beattie’s diary notes of the seven months she spent in Africa with her husband, Andrew. Upon Andrew’s retirement as an accountant, they volunteered to help with the distribution of grain to drought affected areas of Zambia, overseeing the Australian government’s funding of this project and the Australian Baptist World Aid’s administration of the distribution.
The value of this book lies in the fact that it is a diary. It is not the highlights of the trip or an overview; it is not romanticized or fictionalized. It is a real life, day by day account. Consequently we are given insights into the normal daily events of life in rural Africa. The job Andrew and Phyllis are asked to do is only half the story. Not only are they involved in the distribution of grain and arranging the deepening of wells; they also undertake a number of other jobs not listed on their job descriptions. As they had access to a vehicle they were often the taxi and errand runner, plus the emergency medical transport at any hour of the day or night. Then there were days where nothing happened—bad weather, broken equipment, bureaucratic red tape, and fluctuating power supplies cause many delays and sometimes there was literally nothing to do.
Since this book is written as a diary it is immensely practical and conveys the real feel of a mission situation. Anyone contemplating going on any kind of overseas mission should read this book!