Mwaya Mondays- Vol. 19

Mwaya Mondays- Vol. 19, Monday 15 October, 2012

By RIPPLE Africa volunteer Grace:

“It’s been a busy week for everybody here at Mwaya. What with touring the healthcare facilities, work with the preschools, the start of an adult literacy programme and an exciting birthday weekend, we are all enjoying a day off this Monday, which is Mother’s Day here in Malawi. I’m sure the other volunteers join me in feeling so grateful to have our mothers at home as well as our Malawian Mothers, Geddess, Martha and Agnes, here at Mwaya Beach.

Speaking of mothers, Monika and Lindsey visited quite a few new mothers throughout the week when visiting Kachere Clinic, Kande Clinic and Chintheche Hospital. Although I know the visits took a lot out of the two physically and emotionally, they are anxious to start contributing their skills. There are plenty of places where their healthcare experience can be used to help, and any extra hands are extremely appreciated in this community.

Ashley and Pheobe and I have all been working hard in the preschools as well as in some other areas. The importance of phonics has become apparent, and Ashley has taken on the project of going around to the different preschools focusing on phonics, as well as taking a small group of 10 children a day from Mwaya Primary School for extra reading lessons. Pheobe has been helping a lot at Mazembe preschool by bringing fun books and games as well as ordering floor mats for the children to sit on as opposed to the dirt ground. She has also started an adult literacy program for the local community at Mwaya Library. Meanwhile, I’ve been helping where I can at Chiomba and Kachere preschools, and have also had a few successful afternoons with Art club at Mazembe and Mwaya Primary schools.

Joan enjoyed her usual teaching schedule this week, as well as going for a lovely local lunch on Sunday with one of her students from Kapanda. Jess and Matt visited Chiomba Primary to check on the seedlings, which are beginning to sprout. Matt also had a volleyball net built at Kapanda and has had a great time playing with the students this week.

On Friday, Monika, Lindsey, Ashley and I all piled in the back of the lorry and caught a ride to Mzuzu with Dan and some of the others who were going for their monthly trip to get supplies. The ride was bumpy at times, but very pleasant in the early morning hours. Monika and Lindsey went to the immigration office to get their visas, while Ashley and I wandered around at a leisurely pace enjoying the cool weather that comes with such a high elevation. We all met for lunch at A-1, an Indian restaurant that has been recommended a few times, and had a delicious meal sharing a few Indian dishes and a pizza (Cheese, yum!) Ashley and I caught a minibus back after that and experienced TIA travel at its finest. The rest of the crew got back right after dark and were able to join us for a later dinner, where we shared our excitement for the weekend ahead.

After a long week at the office, Charlie was finally able to pull away from work to join us at the Chintheche Inn on Saturday for the Moonrock Festival. Being that it was his birthday on Sunday, we were all glad to help him celebrate at such a fun event! The music was great, the white-sandy beach was incredibly beautiful and relaxing, and although Charlie and I were the last ones standing after midnight, everybody did their fair share of partying. The next morning was not quite as pleasant for those of us who stayed up to celebrate, oh wait, that would just be Charlie and me. Thankfully we were able to arrange private transport on a minibus all the way to our front doorstep and the whole lot of us spent the day relaxing and/or recovering. Happy Birthday Charlie!

So, as I said it was quite an exciting week! Highlighted by all sorts of special occasions, we also learned of a new life brought into the world by the headmistress of Mazembe Primary, Jane. Charlie took her to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday and she gave birth to a boy a couple hours after he dropped her off. Very appropriate considering today is dedicated to motherhood. The time continues to fly by as we see another week behind us and a short week ahead.”

Don’t forget to check back next week for the next instalment of Mwaya Mondays!

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