VOLUNTEER UPDATE FROM KATE – 24th April 2015 (Week 2)
Friday 24th April
Can’t believe this is only the second week it feels like ages since I last clapped eyes on England. I’ve settled in here at lot more now though.
Last weekend gave me a chance to get lots done. I went shopping in Mangochi with Debby, an English lady who lives out here, (who’s been looking out for me and is a god send) and so now the kitchen is complete with food and utensils. Yay!
I spent Sunday morning washing all my clothes in a huge bowl and hanging them out to dry in the sun.
That evening I went swimming in the lake with the next door neighbour, just as the sun was setting. It was quite something. The family next door gave me a freshly caught fish, chambo, which I had for my tea!
On Monday it was back to MOET to start properly as a volunteer teacher. Lessons start at 7.30 each morning (a nice time to cycle before it gets too hot). This week I’ve been teaching Standards 5, 6 and 7 – their ages range from around 8 to 15 years old. We’ve been doing nouns, verbs and tenses. It’s actually made me realise how complicated our language is! The pupils are fabulous little beings and I’m getting know them (and their teachers) better each day.
In the afternoons, (after cycling to the cottage for lunch) I teach computer skills to the same classes, in smaller groups. It’s a bit of a challenge having 3 computers between 15 children but we’ve managed okay so far. We’re starting from the very basics of Microsoft Word. Even though lots of them had never used a keyboard before they’re picking it all up quite fast.
Two afternoons a week I’m also doing computer skills with four girls who went to MOET, have since graduated from secondary school, and are looking for jobs or training vacancies. Hopefully having computer knowledge will give them better opportunities. It’s really interesting to spend time with people my own age who’ve had very different life experiences and circumstances. It makes me feel like the world is a huge place with so many different people living such different sorts of lives in each small part of it.
There’s a nice Malawian family next door to the cottage. They have 8 children! The oldest girl, who’s 17 and has quite good English, invited me how to play a game called Bau (think that’s the right spelling). We sat out on the grass and she taught me – it involves moving lots of small pebbles round a wooden board with grooves in it. Took me a while to get the hang of it which her little sisters found funny!
At MOET the whole school does sport on a Thursday afternoons. I joined in with the netball yesterday which was fun and reminded me of the good old netball days at SFX! And I taught the kids to play ‘duck duck goose’ which went down very well.
I think that’s all for now. It’s cheered me up writing this and reminded me of all the good reasons why I’ve come so far away from everything I know and love! Cheesy though it may sound, I really am learning something new with each day.
And if you want to know more about MOET and it’s work, go to the Fomoe website (www.fomoe.org).