Saturday, 9 August 2014

On their way home!

Dear all,

Just a quick message to let you know that the girls are all safely checked in ready for their flight home. We hope you have enjoyed these blog updates. It has been a pleasure following their adventures.

Best wishes,
The Inspire Team

Friday, 8 August 2014

Last night in Malawi

Tonight is the team's last night in Malawi.
This morning they hiked together up from the campsite to Emperor's View on the Zomba Plateau to take in the scenery before a leisurely lunch at the African heritage centre in Zomba.

Once back in Blantyre, the girls went souvenir shopping at African Habitat - a wonderful shop full of African wares, and the cloth shop for lots of African prints.

They have just finished their last dinner together and have held a presentation of certificates at Fisherman's Rest. Beth Chapman, managing director of Inspire Worldwide is in Malawi at the moment and popped in to say hello to the team tonight as well!

All in all a great day had by all!

Here are the girls at Emperor's View:

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Safari and Zomba

Yesterday the team got see lots of hippos on their boat safari, and had a lovely barbecue for dinner, followed by a camp fire.

Today, the girls enjoyed some amazing elephant sightings on their 6am game drive. Following this, they departed Liwonde National Park for the Zomba Plateau. The team had a picnic lunch at the dam and set up camp before having a lovely meal at the Ku Chawe Inn.

They are currently sat around the camp fire playing Mafia...

Here is a photo of the team at the Zomba Dam.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

First day of safari - short update!

Today the team said goodbye to Manyenje village and travelled to Liwonde National Park for their first day of safari.  This afternoon they took a boat cruise on the river and watched the sunset from the camp. They are having trouble with the internet, so it's just a short update from me today, but we will hear more from them tomorrow after the morning's game drive!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Day 11 - Last day in Manyenje

Muli Bwanji, Kitty and Edapp here,

Last day in Manyenje and by Jove the feels! A couple of the gang,(really just 3, Kitty, Edapp and Lizzie) were told sunrise was at 5.30, so therefore we promptly set our alarms for 4.45AM. The deceit was crushing. A lovely breakfast was prepared, by Rachel and Jess. At this point - 2 hours later might we add - the sun decided to rise, and we all got to bask in the sunrise, not just the three who took the effort to wake up before the crack of dawn - not bitter at all. 

Even our new friend the goat, got to experience the sun's glorious rays before it was slaughtered. It was a very emotional event, but the few who witnessed it appreciated the significance of it and fully grasped the concept of this aspect of the Malawian culture. It was then taken away to be prepared for a grand feast, that we would have for lunch, fit for a chief (because the chief was actually there).

Before lunch we split into 2 groups. Half started packing, which was strange as it dawned on us that we are leaving Manyenje very soon. The other half ploughed onwards to complete the wall by the tyre playground and finished painting the number and letter boards for the classroom. We swapped between these jobs until lunch where we dressed to the nines in our suave sarongs and Inspire t-shirts. We then marched into the feeding centre where were met by esteemed colleagues of the community. It was a truly special moment and we felt honoured. Then it was time to prepare ourselves, emotionally and physically, for the...closing ceremony. We were joined by chiefs of neighbouring villages, 300+ village folk and the National Malawian News crew. We were presented with a platter of delicious dances, songs and speeches galore along with our contribution of our song Mayenje Dreaming *copyright*. The crowd went wild when we pretended to pray. They lapped it up. We also performed a 5 star performance of "A Typical Working Day in Manyenje" (Catchy we know), which was a mixed group of TGS gals and the Manyenje Youth Group. There was also a debut performance by the new hit band KAMP. (Kitty, Alexander, Mairi and Pao two local out parents). It was heartbreaking to then say our final "Topita". For the slackers who haven't done their research that means "Goodybye". 

We then headed back to the compound with the children beating on the straw walls chanting with their hoarse voices, "Tionana". Young, our Rastartist (Rasta + Artist = Rastartist) presented us with our hand crafted, one of a kind t-shirts x 20, which we lovingly shared with our leaders, Gemma and George, Stevie and Dorcas. Our eyes welled up when Young had to leave, with his sack on his shoulder, a tear in his eye and a goatee on his face to meet with his fellow Rastas in the fields. Proper tears ploppin. We then had a nutritious meal of rice cake, bread slice (note the singular form), hot chocolate and  butter. In that order. 

We are now caught up in real time and now writing in future time as we attempt an all nighter seizing every opp. When in Africa. We've decided that we prefer Manyanje instead of England and we are disappointed that we have to return "home". Stevie tells us that we are now full Malawians speaking in our native Chichewa tongue. Get practicing guys.

Peace and glove, keep it real

xoxo Gossip Girl

Just kidding it's Kitty and Erin.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Day 10: Last day on site!

Today's update comes from George and Gem...

Today was Team 3's last full day on the project site. The group made excellent progress today, finishing liming inside the standard 1 classroom, which looks beaut. The building has really come together, with half of the roof now on.

The team have also been working hard on their educational games boards, which are now nearly done.
A few last minute touches will be followed by tomorrow's handover ceremony with the community. 

Both the community and the team are buzzing with excitement for tomorrow's festivities!

More tomorrow!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Day 9: Short and sweet

Today's blog is a little short as the internet is down in Malawi's camp.

' A lovely day,'santa' brought kitenjes in the nite and we went to church, sang two songs with actions, went on a big hill hike, visited  the school commitee chair's home, had great chats on education and life, relaxed in the arvo, had yummy dinner thai style and are excited to smash it tomorow on site! '