Friday, 15 July 2016

On their way!

The team are on their way home....

Thank you so much for reading the blog and all your comments too. We know the team can't wait to show you their own photos and share their experiences with you too.

It's been a pleasure working with Hurst again, the students have been a credit to you all. 

We can't wait to welcome the next team  back to Malawi to work with Joshua and Chilingani again!

All at Team Inspire 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Day 12: Last Day

As we woke from a good nights sleep, we discovered two elephants less than 20 metres from our tent. 

Afterwards we are cereal, muffins and a cooked breakfast (it's fair to say we were well fed) we headed to the boat safari. The safari started with many viewings of crocodiles, a variety of birds and lots of laughs of hippos in the water! Our guide Duncan spotted an elephant and it's baby drinking the water, and as we got closer a herd of 13 elephants appeared. They were very cute. It was amazing because we ended up coming within 5m of them! Upon boarding the bus mobile Amy realised she'd left a very important personal and valuable item on the other side of the river...her stuffed pillow case. Our driver then went back across the river to retrieve it. After that we set off to our next destination; Zomba plateau. Where we set up camp once again and went on a guided walk, viewing a very beautiful waterfall where Ellie slipped over in the mud (no serious injuries were obtained). Once we returned to the campsite, we waited until we could travel to the hotel where we would eat dinner. While we were waiting in the bar we completed feedback sheets which made us realise how soon it is until we go home. We then enjoyed a delicious buffer as a final supper in Malawi. As the day draws to a close we have reflected on what an amazing experience we have had. We are now heading back to the campsite to get some much needed rest before tomorrow's long day of travelling (including a 4 hour wait in Addis Ababa). We all agree that we can safely say this trip was brilliant is an understatement. We are looking forward to seeing you all very soon. 

From the Hurst Malawi Team 2016.

Hurst Out *Mic Drop* BOOM

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Day 11: Safari!

Today we had an early start to set off on our 5 hour journey to Liwonde national park. Luckily we had Ms Barker's great tunes to keep us going and singing along. We arrived at Mvuu and were taken across the river to the park in a boat, from this we could already see some of the animals! 

We then went to our camp site and were amazed to find a monkey waiting for us and running water in the bathrooms! Then we put up our tents and headed to the reception where we were picked up for our jeep safari. All of us were in one big jeep on some extremely bumpy roads, we all almost fell out! But fortunately our game keepers were able to spot fresh elephant tracks and we found a family of 8 elephants, all of us couldn't believe how close we were to real elephants in their natural habitat. We also got to see monkeys, alligators, warthogs, impala, waterbuck, mongoose and a massive variety of birds. 

Now we are waiting for our BBQ and there is a very different opening ceremony to the amazing one we were lucky enough to receive in Chilingani. I think we are all starting to realise quite how amazing the village was and how much we want to go back already. And are missing Joe a lot!! But we are really looking forward to the boat safari and climbing Zomba plateau tomorrow. 
See you all soon
Maisy and Erin xx

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Day 10: Last Day

We woke up this morning to "In the jungle" performed by Shona & Flick. We then headed out for a final bit of work finishing painting the doors the loo doors. 

We had an early break and invited back all of the builders and carpenters for Mandazi and tea after a cold, wet morning. Then after break, because all of our work was done we gathered all the children in the school play area and went to the football pitch for some final fun and games. 

Here we played a very hectic have of stuck in the mud then bulldog with about 150 children! We then played chicken in a hen house which all of the kids were in hysterics about!

We then all returned to the house to start packing in preparation for our early start tomorrow. 

We were all ecstatic to hear that chicken was on today's lunch menu and the boys were salivating over the sight of meaty protein. For our final lunch in Chillingani we were joined by some local dignitaries including the school head, teachers, the Chief's representative and Winnie (one of the founders of Joshua) along with her son David; they had walked 3.5 hours to join us!

Following lunch we had a final practice of 'Pitch Perfects' 'Cup Song' before heading out to join the rest of the village at the leaving ceremony. 

The ceremony began with some fairly energetic dancing which shocked some participating members of the team (I.e Callum). Speeches were made by various members of the community along with Miss Clarke, Leader Aimee and Callum with some heart felt speeches which reflected our sadness to be leaving. A particularly memorable moment of the ceremony was one of the teachers singing a farewell song to us which we all found very touching. Our musical offering of 'the cup song' was received very well! Instead of silence like last time we were met with applause and drumming. 

After saying our final goodbyes we headed back to the house to continue packing . To end the day some of the team took a stroll to get a good view of the setting sun in the Malawian mountains. 

The last supper was followed by an attempt from Josh to teach us all how to make paracord bracelets, some questionable rapping from 'Fresh Prince' by the teachers and leaders and of course some final rounds of Bananagrams. To round things up we will be having a relatively early night in preparation for an early start and 4/5 hour bus journey to the safari.

We are all very sad to be leaving the village and all the children. However, we are also buzzing for the next few days.

See you all on Saturday.


Lots of love,

Erin & Amy 


Monday, 11 July 2016

Day 9: Last few days

The day started with yet another spell of rain reflecting the groups tired nature. However after a competitive but fun game of 'riff off' and 'ninja', we headed to our task of painting the classrooms and varnishing desks. It is great to see all our work coming together and there is only half a day of work left before the safari. 

After lunch, the group enjoyed some much needed down time. We soon met Gem, the programme manager of Joshua, who spoke to us about where the money raised has gone (we raised just over £6000!). We also discussed cultural problems which are being tackled, which really opened our eyes to how lucky we are back in England. It is also important to note Miss Barker's impressive two 'murders' in one day (killing Joe and Ellie)*. 

After playing the usual games of Bananagrams and cards, we enjoyed a dinner of rice and veg cooked by Erin, Ellie, and Amy. We are now learning the 'cup song' from Pitch Perfect for the leaving ceremony tomorrow before our safari. 

Wish us luck! Let's hope it goes better than our hymn! 

Much love,
Shona and Flick

*The game is now getting heated, with the two final killers being Miss Barker and Dom!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Day 8: Church

Dear parentals,

Your children have continued to delight us with their positive hard working attitudes. Their handy person skills have gone from strength to strength and you'll be pleased to know that the poo chart remains robust.

This morning began with an unexpected lie in before we set off on a walk through the countryside. The Malawians we met were friendly but bemused by the fact that we were walking with no fixed destination. Upon returning to the homestead painting the classrooms resumed with decorating the walls with educational murals. We discovered that painting straight lines are a challenge. Our lengthy lunch break was taken up with the entire houses water supply to wash hair and clothes. We donned our new Chitenges ready for church.

We crowded bare foot into a lovely dirt floor Zionist church, and were welcomed by friendly elders of the village. A rave followed, with energetic dancing from the newborns being jiggled on backs to the mamas rocking out with whistles and shakers.

Our version of amazing grace received several claps, unlike our previous efforts. There was a powerful sermon in Chichewa, which  we could not decipher, but we could feel the passion and sense of community not least in the way in which we were bode farewell individually by the entire congregation. 

Dinner was lovely. Most of your children are addicted to Bananagrams including impressive words such as Apache, night, terror.

Hysteria is setting in amongst the staff.


Miss Clarke (not like the shoe shop) & Miss Barker

Ps some pics of yesterday's Sports Day!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Day 7: Saturday Sports Day!

The day started with a screeching sound, that sounded like 'wake me up before you go go' from Erin and Amy. After finally getting our two leaders for the day, Big Cal and Little Dom, out of bed, we finally sat down for another breakfast of porridge! We then set off into the village, to the classroom where we began painting. 

It was at this location that another member of our team was brutally 'murdered' with a pair of goggles (Dom 'killed' Shona).

After having a lunch of rice and veg,  the two boys decided to wash their clothes... Despite their best efforts, nothing seemed to come out clean (Dom's socks). 

The afternoon then consisted of a sports day with the community where the team and the locals played games of netball and football, as well as bubble blowing, sack races, and skipping. It was clear that chef Aida was a professional at netball. A special shout out needs to go to Amy, however, as she scored an outstanding 10 goals... Out of 100 shots.

We rounded the day up with Ellie, Lily, Pip, Erin, and Maisy making a lovely meal - with Aida's stamp of approval.

One of the highlights of the day has to be stargazing (we had our first clear night of the trip, Yay! - Josh) and finding the Milky Way.  

To round things up, morale in the Malawi household is high and we are all abiding by the 'work hard, play hard' rule. We are all looking forward to our morning trek and especially our Sunday afternoon chapel service. 

Much love from the Malawian big sister house and a couple of brothers. 

An update of the euros winner, score, goal scorers, and if Andy won Wimbledon or not would be much appreciated!

We can't wait to see you all next Saturday but are all ecstatic for the Safari this week. 

Shona and Callum