Volunteers visiting in July 2010 arrive back in UK
Michael, Susan and Hilary
Having made a brief visit to MOET in 2008 and maintaining contact since then, we were keen to return for a longer period of time, to help in the classrooms and learn more about philosophy of permaculture.
Patterson Majonanga organised our accommodation in a bungalow that has been much used by the many UK visitors over the years. It is situated right on the lake and we enjoyed relaxing on the lawn and watching Malawian life pass by with clothes and dishes washing and fishing.
We spent a week at MOET. Patterson suggested that on the first day we got to know the children. This we did by playing outside using the rounders bats, balls and skipping ropes that we had taken out. What a baptism! Over a hundred of the older children playing relay races with the balls and ropes, followed by a Malawian version of rounders in which there were very few rules but a lot of fun. We also played games with the younger children in standards 2 and 3, including hopscotch.
We had taken photos of UK children using the same sports equipment. We used them for classroom discussions about similarities and differences in the schools. One afternoon was taken up by a teachers’ maths in-service session with very enthusiastic staff playing board herpes symptoms men games involving dice. These games were then used by the children the following day in the newly formed maths club. Thursday afternoon is ‘club time’ where the children stay for a longer period of time, have a cooked lunch then attend a club of their choice.
The highlight of the week was the Standard 8 leavers’ party. They had been living at the school in order to have extra coaching prior to their Primary Leavers Exams.
The teachers had beautifully decorated the room with garlands of flowers and posters made by the leavers. The cook, Maxwell, provided a meal for the teachers, pupils and their guardians, who had turned up in large numbers. There was singing and dancing and Patterson gave each leaver a bundle of clothing and a warm hand shake, together with his wish that their futures would include more education either in the newly formed vocational study rooms (not yet equipped) or Secondary School (funding permitting).
This summed up the atmosphere and ethos of MOET. It is a vibrant place with small numbers in each class, committed teachers and support staff and the vision and determination of Patterson to provide positive learning whilst extending the aims of permaculture with the organic food growing and caring for others..