Leaving Mwandi

12 June 2015

Two weeks have shot by, and the time has come to leave the wonderful village of Mwandi.

Since Will and Becca arrived, we’ve been at a new stage on the house building- throwing!


So we can get the walls of the house from this:


To this:



So, that’s what I did up until yesterday, but  I used the today to get my bags backed ready to head off to Botswana tomorrow!

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Tying Rope and Eating Dough

Wednesday 27 May

Those bloody roosters don’t have a clue! Joined the dogs in a shouting match from about 1:00am! Good thing I went to bed so early, or I’d be exhausted!

Funny thing though, since I’ve started taking these Malarone Malaria prevention tablets, I’ve got an incurable hunger and all I want to do is sleep! Thank goodness I’m here volunteering in manual labour… This should prevent me from becoming the size of a cow.

Today was my first day house building, working alongside two local guys who work for the charity; Gabbi and Martin. It’s hard work, but has taught me so much already! Skills I hope to use again, perhaps to build a tree house or something for my kids some day.

The main structure of the house was already there when I arrived, I assume part of the work of volunteers who were here before me, so the job today was to securely tie branches to the outside and inside, creating walls that will later be filled with mud clay for setting. Mission very much accomplished, and I have the blisters to show for it!




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Off to Mwandi

Tuesday 26 May

Well, day one has felt much like an African adventure already!

Paula collected me from the Jolly Boy’s hostel about 12:30 and we got on the road to Mwandi Village, about a 2 hour drive away. En route, Paula told me a little more about the charity Homes for AIDs Orphans, which was founded by herself and her husband Dan (who was actually born and raised in Mwandi himself) in 2005, with very meagre beginnings! While they started off sharing land with Christian Missionary groups, in 2007 the Village Chief gave them their own land from which the charity could work. Then, with Paula being part of Rotary International, Rotarian volunteers got involved, who by 2009 had set up running water and by 2010 installed electricity. Although they’re still a small charity and with basic living, it’s very impressive to me that they’ve already come so far with so little.

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The Flight to Zambia

Monday 25 May 2015

Having had a tremendously exhausting weekend and only 4 hours sleep, this has to be the sleepiest I have ever been at the start of travelling. I don’t even remember checking in!

I do remember Gary, the lovely helpful taxi driver, walking into the airport with me without prompt and showing me exactly where I needed to go for what, and even recommending I go upstairs to the Whimpey’s for breakfast before going through security where I can watch the planes on the runway from the window. A fine idea, which I absolutely went along with!


I treated myself to a little Cappuccino Muffin and a Chocolate Milk here, only to have the common sense click that the airport had only just opened when I arrived, and my flight would be the first to leave. Therefore, there was nothing of interest happening on the runway at this time.

Once crossing through security, I immediately regretted my decision to go to Whimpey’s for seeing a Mugg and Bean café here in departures! Oh, Mugg and Bean! This might just be my last time to have you, and I’ve wasted it!

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Today, I taught a little girl to spell her name

Monday 23 March


And she lit up like a star for it!

This really is a fascinating volunteer project. Our classroom consists only of a small little hut on the beach. There’s no electric, so no fan, no air conditioning which in 32c heat makes things VERY challenging!


But I feel both my work and my presence are welcome here, and I do feel I’m helping these kids. I just wish I could stay here helping for longer! 4 days seems a bit rubbish!


The classroom hut is surrounded by the homes of the families, which are very small and built from driftwood and dead tree branches.

After class, one family invited us to their home, where we had a conversation via a translator. What an incredible story they had! They both had relocated to Goa recently from slums elsewhere, to try and create a better income and better life for their children, by selling fish caught by the father. They said they still weren’t happy in their life, and who could blame them, but every day they will keeping thinking and thinking, thinking of new ways to improve their life. Their dream, they said, is that their son, who is now four, will be able to go to school when he turns six, and get a good job in the future.


I really do hope for them.

On another note, today also had a celebration attached to it.


Diana turned 22!


I hope you’re muito muito feliz!