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Published: November 22nd 2017
Most of Saturday I spent sunbathing by the pool trying to get my legs to look as if I'd spent four weeks in the sun, which is probably a mistake as i think they'll look sun-damaged rather than tanned. I changed my last £100 (93,000 kwachas). I'll keep 50,000 of this for my keep at the weekend (though Mabuya is fairly primitive, I don't think it's that cheap) and a cab back on Sunday to the village, and the rest I spent on things to fill my suitcases. I bought two bottles of Malawi gin (3,000 each bottle) in the supermarket - they only had two bottles left and I couldn't be bothered to go to the other supermarket, then to the market and bought six sarongs and two bags, then made a run for a tuk tuk past the other stall holders calling me to look and buy. It's all beautiful, but I have so much African stuff already.
Mabuya has a constant stream of travellers, NGO workers, and locals coming through, and I'm happy to watch people wash in and out, and read my book. I didn't bring any books with me, (no space) but the library has kept me stocked with reading matter.
I've written up what I've done and emailed it to the Country Manager and CEO of Landirani.
Sunday I took a cab back to the airport, them got a bicycle taxi to the village, arriving about 5.30pm. Chimwenwe was very pleased to see me and spent most of the night snuggled up with me rather than out on the razzle. There was some spectacular sheet lightning, but no sign of thunder. It's all a sign that the rains are nearly here, the short showers we've had so far have started to green up the land already. All the fields are furrowed in neat rows ready for the rains.
Monday morning I went in to the CBCC and all the children were delighted to see me, got into a quick circle for pass the ball, and were very responsive for about 15 minutes. They were just starting to play up when the caregivers arrived. Post-training they had different ideas, got the children to sing a greeting song and shake hands with each other, sang some action songs, and had a question and answer session about God in a circle. They also gave out the soft dolls and toys they'd made on the course.
Monday night was a thin sliver of a new moon and a clear starry night, which I drink my fill of, to keep me going through the weeks where there'll be a sodden grey blanket of winter UK sky above me.
Tuesday morning I demonstrate some of the activities I've done with the children. It's lovely to see them respond and get enthusiastic. George told me several of the patents have commented that the children are better at counting, and count on their fingers. It's a shame that when they get to the local school, they are at the mercy of the teachers who seem to have very little interest in teaching. I've spoken to everyone I hope can make a difference. I don't understand how anyone can be a teacher, and not want to inspire and get the best from their pupils. George tells me there a PTA (parent teacher association) so maybe they can put pressure on.
Chimwenwe looks bereft when I take her food bowls over to the library, and I feel it too. I shall miss her dreadfully, and I think she'll miss the home comforts she's been getting with me.
George drives me to the airport. Will I come back? A week ago, I'd have said no. Now I'm not sure. It was hard being the only azungho, I often thought of last time, when Shelby and Steve were there, it made a difference.
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