Team Malawi are just over one week into their volunteering adventure, and have found time to update us over the weekend… Photo’s have been promised soon however with limited internet connectivity and lots of work to be cracking on with, they will come when the come and not a minute sooner, ahh the African pace of life is best!
“Muli Bwanji! We made it!
After a day (or two, Rose!) of travelling we met our ‘tree hugging’ team leader, Richard! We travelled to a hostel in Lilongwe where we shared a dorm. The next day we travelled to Blantyre on a public bus. For breakfast we were given a muffin and a samosa whilst listening to Malawian tunes!
When we arrived in Blantyre we met Agnes (Kate was reunited with her after 3 long years!), a Malawian Joshua sponsor. Our team is now complete! We travelled to our new home in Manyowe by a rickety bus. As we approached the village we couldn’t help but notice how warm and welcoming the locals were, waving and smiling at us. The mini bus pulled into the drive of our new home and out of nowhere excited children gathered en mass to see the Muzungus. The village was beautiful and the house we are staying in belongs to the chief. It completely exceeded our expectations – we are finally home!
Sylvia arrived to greet us and we attended a welcoming ceremony hosted by the village. We were treated to plays, poems, speeches, music and even a dance by the Chief (she really knows how to work it!) We were invited to join in and really felt like part of their community.
We had a well rested night in our new beds/mattresses (unlucky for some!) before the big day! Porridge for breakfast, then onto the site for 8am, where we began to build the foundations of our feeding centre. We have the opportunity to work alongside the local men (who are much stronger then us!) and we have met some amazing people (We love Hamilton!). On the second day of working we are beginning to find our feet (All except for Kath, who falls over quite regularly!) Although the jobs we are expected to do are heavy and difficult (everyone struggles apart from Eleanor, Mrs Muscles!) we all come together, try our best and as a group we have made excellent progress, impressing the fundis!
We’re really fitting in, carrying water on our heads and professionally squatting for the long drops (yellow poo!). Our showers have also been an experience, we never thought a bucket of water could feel so good!
After a hard day at work we get the chance to play with the local children. We have all joined in skipping, playing tig and singing their songs. Although I’m afraid the hokey cokey was rather a disaster (especially making a circle with 180 kids!) They have been helping us on the site, putting us to shame with their strength and resilience. It is lovely to know how quickly they have learnt who we are, shouting our names and hi-fiving us.
We have been picking up the language both on site and at home where Agnus has been teaching us Chichewa. Slowly but surely we are improving. By the end of the month we will be fluent!
Although we haven’t known each other for very long we feel like family, these past few days have been mint and we cant wait for what is still to come at our new home in Malawi! Rose says ‘Good Jab’! (Good Job in Canadian!)
Team Malawi 2013