Blog Malawi

Back to School Again

12.01.2013

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Malawi is the essential Africa, the unconventional Africa, far away from the rest of the world. In Malawi a mix of different cultures and communities get on well and live together peacefully unlike many other countries in the African continent. Malawi is a country which you fall in love with at first glimpse, but also allows for much to be discovered day after day. Pangono pangono – meaning little by little in English is one of the first words in Chichewa which you learn here. In Malawi people have their time, the so well known African time. They say: “Foreigners have watches, Malawians have time”. And “little by little” is the slogan of the village of Lifuwu.     

This is the seeds and sowing time in Lifuwu. The villagers are busy working in the fields in order to make them ready for the rainy season. The rain, mvula, is appreciated as a boon and it is of course the best irrigation system. All the nature comes to life again after months with little rainfall, the landscape changes quickly and everything is coloured with an emerald green. Hoping for the rain to be generous this year! 

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Our former volunteers, Urs and Damaris, left before the New Year Eve to Nkata Bay, in the North Malawi, and they are now enjoying Zanzibar. Before leaving Lifuwu they have donated a bicycle to Kazembe Primary School. Thank you very much Mr Urs and Mrs Damaris for your generosity and great support!

For one couple left, a new one has arrived! Madeleine and Simon, from Switzerland. Simon is a carpenter by trade while Madeleine is a student at the teacher’s training school. They got familiar with the village very quickly and the kids already yell their names. Yep, this is one of the sweet and funny facts in Lifuwu: whenever you walk through the village there will be always somebody calling your name and, at times, it is difficult to realize where the voice is coming from…maybe from the mango trees!  

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After a well deserved holiday, it is now time to go back to school. The first days of school are always the most exciting! This month our volunteers will be busy at Kazembe Primary School with the repairing and refurbishment of indoor facilities of the school (i.e. benches, desks and cupboards), with English Tuition and teachers’ training. In the afternoon, we have also decided to focus on writing classes to support the students from Standard 8 with the preparation of their exams this May/June for the admission to Secondary School in Salima.   

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As promised, we started with the decorations and paintings at the Imedi Nursery School and we have just completed the ABCs and 123s. The room looks much nicer now, and all the kids passing by the school look inside reading the alphabet and the new words in English. Although it may seem very trouble-free to paint letters with related figures, we struggled to find words which are useful for the kids to know and which are understandable in this context. We have failed with the ‘I’ for ice cream, for example! The kids in Lifuwu have not knowledge about what an ice cream is. A suggestion for the coming volunteers…bring ice cream with you to Malawi 🙂 Madeleine is also organizing a training with the local volunteers at Imedi as well as basic English classes. 

Last but not least, the Sport Project at Kazembe is on again and this month we play a Football Tournament. It is amazingly lovely seeing how sport can really make people closer and truly happy here. Girls really enjoy playing football and some of them are also doing very well. Guess which team will be the winner! Our support to the Monkey Team 🙂

All in all, a few words about the amazing food we eat since our sweet sister Annette is working with us. We had finally triednsima, the traditional Malawian staple made from cornmeal, and the Chambo, the typical fish of Lake Malawi. We will for sure join the cooking tuition next Saturday!  

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Malawi. Every support counts.

Francesca

P.S.: Every donation towards our projects is greatly appreciated. We have achieved so much already. A special “thank you” to all past donors!