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Kate, volunteering experience - Week 8

Updated: Apr 27

On Friday last week it was sports day at MOET. The morning was thankfully quite cloudy. It started with long distance races.

I got these photos from the back of the motorbike that was leading in front of the runners to show them the way. I was perched behind the driver sitting back to front and cheering them all on!

It was exciting to see the last sprint and near the end the two girls who were first and second were running alongside each other holding hands!

Bringing up the rear was Patterson and his truck, who had been following behind the race and picking up the stragglers! They all came chugging back to the playground cheering.

Then it was the volleyball - teachers vs students. Students won!

Students won again in the netball. It was quite an aggressive match! I played centre on the teachers team but got thrashed by the girls from standard 7 who seemed to be everywhere all at once.

There was also the classic sack races and three legged races, but rather than the egg and spoon, it was the bottle-on-head. They had to run to the end without spilling the water. I don't know how Africans do it. I could hardly keep mine steady long enough for a photo, let alone try and move.

High jump was entertaining. It was made up of two wooden posts bashed into the ground and a piece of string tied at varying heights. Lots of kids ended up face-planting the sand pit and got up grinning. Mavuto, the winner, was amazing! He managed to propel himself into the air from just a short run up:

At lunchtime, instead of going back for lunch like usually, I had school dinner with the teachers - nsima, which is maize porridge, the main staple in Malawi. There's obviously no school cantine and everyone sits outside on the floor eating with their hands, their 'natural forks'; I got teased for using a real fork!

In the afternoon was football and rounders, then the farewell assembly for the visitors Sue, Michael, Hilary and Rosemary who were at MOET all last week. The teachers and pupils thanked them for their help, and the choir sang some songs (they did us proud). Michael gave out the sports day prizes. There was a collective intake of breath from the children when it was announced that the two winning runners would get 1,500 Kwacha each. That works out to almost £2.50. To them that really is a small fortune. Winners of other events got prizes too - exercise books and clothes and pens.

All in all I thought it made for a memorable day at MOET. A real example of the talent of these kids, their teamwork, and the way they find joy in simple things, and smile even though their lives are tough.

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