Volunteering at the Lake of Stars
A world of 540 kilometres long and 75 kilometres wide surrounded by a scenery of rocks, forests, and villages. Emerald and crystalline blue water, fine and soft sand, coloured fishes. This is lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa and the ninth in the world. A lake which looks like the ocean. Lake Malawi is also called lake of stars because when the missionary and explored David Livingstone discovered it, the lake was characterized by a myriad of shining lights – the lanterns the fisher man used while hunting fishes during the nights.
It has been a month plenty of news at Kazembe Primary School. The most important one is that they have received 110 new desks from the government and two new teachers who will help out the large Standard 1 and 2 classes.
Also at the Nursery School they are doing well, although we did not any volunteers involved in the project since Madeleine and Simon left. The kids are enjoying the games/toys we donated – a special thank to our Italian friends J – and they love singing a few new songs Madeleine taught to the teachers/volunteers during the training.
Simon has also helped out Patson and the others with completing the office next to the Nursery Schools for a local Community Based Organization – Tiyanjane Aids Fighter – which provides assistance to vulnerable children within the Lifuwu area.
After enjoying a goodbye party organized by the teachers at Kazembe, our lovely Swiss couple, Madeleine and Simon, went back home with a memorable experience and a new small gift donated by the school: the traditional multi-coloured piece cloth Malawi women wear as skirts, the chitenje.
We have now Zbig, from Poland. He joined us after spending some time at our projects in Tanzania. He is a journalist, he loves taking pictures, and he is enjoying the peaceful Lifuwu and the authentic friendship of Malawians; and a new couple, Lisa and Tim, from London, arrived last week-end. They travelled around Malawi for 3 weeks and they are now getting to know the village and the kids. Hope they will have a great time with us.
At the Friendly Gecko everybody is working hard to make the guesthouse even more a lovely place. The new FG Pizza Oven/BBQ is finished and a veggie garden is set up with tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes and Chinese cabbage. We look forward to having the first Italian pizza topped with Friendly Fresh vegetables! Some new faces visited us at the Friendly Gecko; Darian, Stewart and Beth on a few days holiday stay after volunteering at the Lilongwe Community Wildlife Park, and Peter, from the Netherland. He is making a one-year trip around Africa and the Middle East, and he was a very interesting person to speak with. Just a taste of the first romance at the Friendly Gecko. Luis and the chameleon. They share the room, sleep side by side, and eat together. Love at first sight!! We will keep you updated!
We also had more time to explore the surrounded areas. We had our first boat excursion to the Lizard Island, a small rocky island in Senga Bay which offers diving and snorkelling opportunities. We visited the Kuti Community Wildlife Ranch, which now has a new baby giraffe, and the Crocodile Farm boosting its oldest member of 57 years old and 5 metre long with a total population of 15’000 crocodiles.
As additional information we would like to talk about two different donation opportunities for our projects in Malawi: a school stationery kit and a secondary education sponsorship for the students at Kazembe. The stationery kit will provide the students with basic learning material such as pens, exercise books, and uniform, luxuries that most families cannot afford. They are kids, and even a new pencil may encourage them to go to school. The secondary education sponsorship will provide the students who get the highest scores on their Leaving Certificate Examination with the opportunity to attend the Salima Boarding Secondary School. Indeed, there are no secondary schools in Lifuwu village, and for most of the learners secondary school fees represent a huge barrier which the families cannot often afford. With no hope for their future, most of the students start working or get married after primary school.
If you wish to have more information or to make a donation, please send us an e-mail to email@example.com. We know that lot of people cannot afford the time away from their daily lives to come out to volunteer in which case please make a special consideration to making a donation. Even with a small contribution, your money can go a long away here!
Loads of love from Malawi!