Mwaya Mondays- Vol. 21, Monday 29 October, 2012
By RIPPLE Africa volunteer Katie:
“What a great first week for Clare and I at Mwaya Beach! We are delighted with how quickly we have settled into a productive routine and feel at home here already!
Dan the Man showed us the ropes over two days of induction – there was so much to take in! We saw first-hand the huge number of people in the community positively impacted by the work of RIPPLE Africa and its volunteers. After some deliberation, we decided our time would be best used here by spending two days at Mwaya Primary School, two days at Chiomba Primary School and one day at Mwaya Pre-School each week. In both primary schools, we focus on one standard each per day, taking small groups of between five and ten children for 25 minutes at a time and reading books with them – Irish Legends will be rolling off the local tongues at this rate! We had great fun at the pre-school on Friday where the balloons Clare pulled out of her bag were the highlight of the day! We’ve both filled up most of our afternoons already with one-to-one tutoring, reading groups and our English Conversation Group which piloted successfully on Friday – we figured this was a good way to use our main asset- the Irish Gift of the Gab!
This blog wouldn’t be complete without the mention Jess and Polly’s favourite topic – Composting Toilets. A topic which comes up at every dinner without fail, they have made more progress this week by making visits to look at different models and ordering materials – watch this space!
When not talking about composting toilets, they, along with Joan are very busy with the students of Kapanda Secondary School that they teach by day and tutor almost every evening. The students are also enjoying Volleyball at the school, courtesy of this super-couple! The teachers at Kapanda are delighted that work has begun on the wooden frames for their new houses also.
Before heading south to Cape Maclear for a well -deserved break, Grace, Ashley and Lindsey continued their respective projects. Grace focused on pre-schools this week and ran her Art-Club at Mwaya Primary on Thursday. Ashley was busy cycling far and wide every day, helping children left right and centre, in groups as small as two and as large as a hundred and sixty. Lindsay was nursing at Chintheche all week and was honoured to be asked to name a couple’s first born baby, whom she called Grace Mia (the height of praise to our American Grace)! Her Health Club went well again this week where the topic was contraception and gained numbers in the form of seven giggly teenagers. We’re excited to have our roomies back soon, including Monika who we have yet to meet!
Pheobe didn’t stop all week and was always on the go. She has even found time to schedule a hair appointment for Charlie, giving him a fantastic new bob, which is underway and looking good as I type! The saga of the pre-school mats continues for Pheobe and she is in the process of writing up inventories for each pre-school, seeing what is needed where.
A vast amount of tonic water was welcomed to Mwaya Beach on Wednesday along with a few familiar faces in the form of Geoff, Liz, Susie, Marilyn and Peter. The former was a welcome accompaniment to the gin Charlie has had stashed away in the cupboard in anticipation for its arrival. The return of these RIPPLE veterans meant our biggest evening meal yet comprising fifteen people. Our top-chefs, Martha, Agnes and Geddess were kept busy and as usual pulled out all the stops!
This week has been amazing and with a feast of lasagne on the way in a couple of hours, it’s sure to set us up for another great one!”
Don’t forget to check back next week for the next instalment of Mwaya Mondays!