Blogs from Northern, Malawi, Africa

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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay March 13th 2014

Hello again. Very sorry for the delay. I think it's been almost two months since I last wrote a blog so I will try sum up the past few weeks as concise as possible. Over the past few weeks I have continued to teach at the school as well as being involved in the other projects on site. We had a special treat at the school when two travellers said they would perform their musical instruments for us. The instruments were a banjo and a flute, they played a range of irish and balkan music which was brilliant. The kids loved it and spent most of the lesson dancing on the tables. It was not only something different but very fun too and it exposes them to different music from around the world which is important. ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay February 7th 2014

It's been some time since I discussed the volunteering I have been doing at Butterfly and I can assure you it hasn't just been one big holiday for the past 6 or so weeks. Since the first week in December I have been teaching 11/12 kids from the ages of 4 to 7 in the morning. They study English from 8 til 9.30 with Alice, one of the co owner's then Maths from 9.30 til 12. From the onset, I have decided to not only teach Maths but to also include Science and of course Geography into their curriculum. My mornings usually include lesson planning which means writing all their exercises in their books. As you can imagine from the age differences, their is a huge disparity in the ability of the children so planning isn't ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern February 5th 2014

Back in the truck we rattle along to the border of Malawi. On a potty stop in a baobab forest we cavort about like Gulliver dwarfed by the enormous trees. I hug a Baobab...an ant on the side of the world!.Henry our driver extraordinaire warns us that Tanzania was the holiday, Malawi will be rough...basic and off the grid. It begins at the border...thank goodness at least there is no visa fee as we swelter for two hours in the stifling heat of the immigration office answering a million detailed questions of our travel plans. Lucy and I reach down from the truck to give our remaining Tanzanian shillings to dusty little boys...they beam their radiant thanks. That night at dinner Henry reads the group the riot act, I had written the tour company a letter ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay February 3rd 2014

Just before Christmas I headed off on a 2 day/1 night kayaking trip with Monkey Business, a Kayak and Canoe business operating out of Butterfly. There were 7 of us who went which included a few volunteers and guests that couldn't leave Nkhata Bay, a phenomenon which occurs quite often here. It seems that many people coming here have been on the road for some days so the thought of leaving Lake Malawi causes them to stay longer. I can see why too as the lake is simply beautiful, the views looking out on the horizon now are stunning. On a clear day, one can see both Tanzania and Mozambique and it feels surreal to be able to see two different countries. It's no wonder people love the Lakeshore. So, having decided amongst our group that ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Mzuzu January 15th 2014

This is a rather late post so I do apologise. This particular trip was my first venture away from Butterfly and Nkhata Bay back in November. Having resided by the Lake for some 4 weeks, I decided at the time to head north and inland to Livingstonia via Mzuzu and Chitimba. This turned out to be a great decision and I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. After volunteering on the Friday morning, I caught a shared taxi with Zoe to Mzuzu for 1200 kwacha. Mzuzu is the main city in Northern Malawi and is the administrative Capital of the whole Northern region. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes as it is only 40km away from the Lake. Minibuses which are slightly cheaper and the shared taxi's ply this route on a daily basis and there is ... read more

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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nyika Plateau January 15th 2014

Sorry but another very late post, it seems to be the way of things with this blog. Uploading photo's here when the power can go off at any minute and where the internet is painfully slow doesn't help my cause one bit. Anyway, during Mid December I went with Megan (another volunteer at Butterfly) to Nyika N.P which is in the NW of Malawi. The park itself straddles the Zambian border and boasts an array of game and wildlife, although spotting some of the big 5 is incredibly challenging. The National Park is the largest in Malawi and it's huge expansive rolling grasslands are home to Zebra, Reedbuck and Bushbuck, Eland and Roan Antelope, all of which you are guaranteed to see in the park. And that we did. Despite not being home to some of ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay December 11th 2013

More pictures. Sorry for the backlog. Pictures include: Butterfly Space, Sunsets, Chikhale Beach, Luskwe - cliff jumping and more... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay December 5th 2013

Where to start. Sorry for the delay in updating my blog but I've been very busy of late. Over the past two weeks I have been delving into different projects with a varying degree of success. Unfortunately, there is a major cup competition taking place on the only football pitch in town so their has been no training for two weeks. I have also been informed that this competition will be taking place for a month or so which is a shame. However, the school term finishes next week so the kids might not have been inclined to train anyhow. Never mind ey! Despite not being able to train, there have been many positives with some of the other projects and this includes the nursery school. Francis, one of the gardener's at Butterfly and myself have ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay November 13th 2013

How time flies! I have been volunteering at Butterfly Space in Nkhata Bay for almost 1 month now. I slowly became used to the heat and my surroundings on arrival and also saw some of the projects which are running here at the lodge. Since then, things have quickly moved on and I am rather busy which is great. Before arriving here, I was always going to get involved with the Butterfly football team but unfortunately, the local Malawian who is supposedly the "coach" is wholly unreliable so I decided to set up my own team. As many of the projects and facilities are available to young local people here at Butterfly, I thought it would be good to increase our connections with the local primary school - Chikhale Primary School. The school is approximately a ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Northern » Nkhata Bay November 1st 2013

Just a mere 14 hours on the bus from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay but it was certainly worth it. I won't delve too much into the bus journey as I'm sure you can imagine the scenario. As if the journey wasn't long enough, President Joyce Banda decided to close the roads to allow her 35 vehicle convoy through. Now I don't wish to start a political debate, but for a President who has sold the government jet and cut her own wage, it seems strange she required such an escort at huge costs! Having arrived late in the evening, I quickly met some of the volunteers here at Butterfly Space where I will be staying for some time and was given a very warm welcome. I was too tired to enjoy a beer though and headed ... read more
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