VOLUNTEER UPDATE FROM KATE – 11th May 2015 (Week 4)
Friday 8th May
Wahey I am wishing myself a very happy 19th! Feels rather strange, not like any of my other birthdays that’s for sure! People at MOET have been nice. I’m going to treat myself to a meal out this evening at the posh hotel which is a short walk down the beach.
Gutted I’ve missed out on all this General Election excitement. My first time old enough to vote and I wasn’t even there!
It’s been a good week here. The pupils are making progress and so am I! I’m getting used to this teaching malarky and managing to learn most of their names in Standards 5, 6 and 7. They have some interesting names – like Blessings, Trust, Miracle, Innocent and Gift!
Computer skills with the older girls is coming on well and we’ve moved onto Microsoft PowerPoint…
I’ve also started teaching piano in the afternoons. So far it involves sitting with five kids on a bench, trying to teach them Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Patterson the headmaster is keen for us to set up a choir. I think this is such a good idea! We had a meeting about it this morning with 15 pupils and they sang me Happy Birthday as their first practise.
Good news for MOET arrived at the weekend in the form of two volunteers who came down from Salima. They were having a look round the school on behalf of their organisation which is looking for a new project to send their volunteers to each year. They seemed pretty impressed which could mean MOET might be getting regular German volunteers each year from September to August. Which would be so good for the school – fingers crossed it works out. They stayed the night in the cottage – a bit unexpected when two strangers turned up late Saturday evening, but it was fun to have some company and hear about their experiences of Malawi.
The bank holiday weekend was relaxing, I spent most of it with the other volunteers staying near here – we had a barbecue and I got to know them a little more. They are full of tips about life here since they’ve been doing it for 9 months!
I went swimming in the lake again on Sunday afternoon, with Matilda from next door and her sisters. I’m starting to feel a little less of an outsider (although still quite a lot of one). I think some of the villagers round here are getting more used to seeing me cycling around. When I’m on my way to school, most of the kids still shout ‘azungu’ (white person) but now there’s also a few who shout ‘Madam Kate’!
The evenings can be a little lonely. I’m doing lots of reading – on my 7th book since I got here. And cooking takes ages (using my one hob ring) so that fills up the time, as well as planning lessons for the next day. I brought a little radio with me so at least I can listen to capital fm Malawi! Quite a bit of it’s in Chichewa but I have been trying to pick up a little of their language… It seems pretty impossible though, so different to English. Apart from the odd word they have like ‘telefoni’ for telephone, ‘tebulo’ for table, or ‘kabichi’ for cabbage!
Tomorrow afternoon it’s the leaving party for the Standard 8s, now that they’ve finished their exams this week. So they’re all looking forward to that.
Think that’s all from me. I hope I can ge the wifi to post this – the electricity has been pretty hit and miss the past few days!
Here are some photos I took this week…
Standard 7s doing their end of week English test