VOLUNTEER UPDATE FROM KATE – 30th April 2015 (Week 3)
Regular as clockwork – please find the next weekly installment of Kate’s volunteer experience at MOET:
Thursday 30th April
I’m writing the blog a bit early this week because the bank holiday means we get Friday off school! So I won’t be able to post it tomorrow. Deffo feeling ready for a few days off!
I’ve been busy at MOET with English and ICT lessons, plus helping a couple of the staff with their computer admin. We’ve managed to scan and send off (to the UK) the school reports for the ex-MOET pupils who are now at secondary school (with their fees being paid for by Fomoe supporters). So once the reports have been distributed their sponsors will be able to see how they’re progressing.
I’ve also been trying to think of ways to make grammar interesting for the kids – easier said than done!
Meanwhile at MOET the Standard 8 class are busy preparing for their exams, which start next Wednesday. At the moment these pupils are spending all their time at school, studying on the weekends too, and boarding overnight in the Vocational Skills block! Tomorrow they’ll be saying prayers to ask God that their exams go well. Good luck to them!
Last weekend was an interesting one. On Saturday I took a ‘bicycle taxi’ to Maldeco (which has the nearest supermarket type shop) and got myself some provisions. Bicycle taxis are great – you sit on the back of someone’s bike on a little purpose-made cushion and they can take you from A to B. Much more fun than normal taxis I must say. At Maldeco there’s quite a good selection food wise… You can get peanut butter which made me extremely happy. Cheese, though, is a real rarity here and is something I’m missing a lot already!!
I’ve also been buying some home grown veg from MOET. They grow lots of interesting plants at the school according to their permaculture programme (which is like natural sustainable farming), and also for making all sorts of natural medicines. I’d like to write more on this later when I’ve had chance to learn some more about it.
On Sunday I went to church with Matilda from next door and her family. The singing was fantastic, everyone was going for it! During the service the newcomers who were there (a few including me) had to stand up and introduce ourselves, then people came up and shook our hands – they were all really welcoming. I can see why people call Malawi ‘the warm heart of Africa’.
In the afternoon Matilda showed me the best way of washing my clothes in the lake and we got it done in half the time. Still not quite like popping stuff in the machine and pressing a button like at home! Doing any housework is an altogether different experience here. I gave the bathroom in the cottage a good clean that day as well. Found an ant heap under the sink and attacked it with loo roll and cleaning spray so I’m hoping that’s the end of that. Each day marks a little progress in the battle against the insects I’m sharing the house with.
Anyway, the best news of the week is that I’ve made friends with some British volunteers who are teaching at a school a few kilometres down the lakeshore. They are sharing a house and are doing gap years like me, and they’ve been here since last September! It is SO nice to have some people to have fun with and talk to about stuff, who are in the same boat (or at least a similar boat). We’re going to meet up for the weekend.
All in all I’m feeling less despondent and more accepting. There’s something grounding about having this simple lifestyle. I have a sense that what I’m doing each day is worth doing, and it’s a good feeling!
And thank you very much to everyone who’s sent me encouraging messages recently, it really means a lot!
Sunset on the beach
Villagers at Mpemba
Standard 6 Classroom