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Published: July 25th 2010
Hello from Group A in Doogle's Lodge Blantyre!
The first 2 weeks here have flown by, first at Dzalanyama and then on Mt Mulanje. Our introduction to Malawi was brief as we only spent 1 night in Lilongwe before heading straight for the rural village of Dzalanyama. We started our community project in high spirits, white-washing and painting as if our lives depended on it - so much so we ran out of paint on the first day. The teachers and pupils made us feel completely at home and as if we were part of an extended family. We spent our afternoons surrounded by swarms of children all wanting to play or have a photo taken. On the third day of our visit we were priviledged enough to teach english to a few classes, which was the highlight of the week for many people. Although some started more reluctant than others eventually they were teaching us as much as us teaching them. Our final day we were treated to an authentic local meal hosted by the deputy headmaster. It was simple but delicious, and we all would've eaten more if we could. A goodbye ceremony was held afterwards in which some students sang for us - Miss Tucker wished her gospel choir had been there to hear it. We then "treated" them to a song of our own and so with heavy hearts and many addresses we left for our next phase - the dreaded trek.
After a long days travel and a noisy night, we found ourselves at the foot of Mt Mulanje, none of us keen on what was coming next. However we surprised ourselves and, through some incentive from an unfit world challenge group, we crammed two days of our trek into one, this was something we are all very proud of. It also made the next few days much easier and we left the mountain a day earlier than planned. Through our blisters, aches and pains we still managed to "indulge" the locals with a rousing rendition of YMCA among other cheesy but brilliant songs.
So now we prepare for our next project phase, Mwabvi here we come!
Caitlin and Hannah
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