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!

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

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To this:

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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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Livingstone Museum

Tuesday 9 June

Today, after two weeks of being here alone, we had two more volunteers arrive; Will from Wolverhampton UK and Becca from New England US. As Paula was driving to Livingstone to collect them, I decided to jump on board and use the opportunity to post a few letters from Livingstone Post Office (following a few issues with the Post Office in Mwandi).

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I completed my errand almost immediately by 10:00, and wasn’t due to meet Paula and the others until 12:30! This created the perfect opportunity to check out the Livingstone Museum of Zambia.

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At just 30 Kwacha entry, it’s well worth a visit! It takes you right through the various traditions from the various tribes in Zambia, right from the beginning of time!

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Fishing on The Zambezi

Sunday 7 June

After much charming and asking around following my vow to go fishing on the beautiful Zambezi River, today it finally happened!

A friend of Matt’s, Owen (that being his English name, rather than his Slozi name which is something that has slipped my mind but is saved on the notes on my phone which is now smashed) delivers the mud to us each day for house building, and also indulges in fishing every weekend. Not only this, but he has a reputation of being pretty damn good at it too! He kindly obliged to take me out on the river to help me catch my dinner.

I met with he and a few of his friends at 11am (we had discussed 10am, but you know Africa) and we made our first stop back at Owen’s house to pick up their things.

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Take me to Church

Sunday 31st May

 I’ve had limited church experience, but today’s by far took the prize as the best church experience ever!

The Village Chief of Mwandi requests that volunteers attend at least one church service whilst in Mwandi, and dress appropriately for the occasion. In other words, where a traditional wrap around skirt for the occasion. I feel I found the perfect one for me, and at only 40 Kwacha!

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The Victoria Falls

Friday 29 May

In spite of a terrible night’s sleep, today was a great day!

Every Friday, Paula needs to go to a Rotary International meeting in Livingstone. On top of this, there’s been a few flat tires recently so Dan and Matt also had to go in Livingstone in the only remaining truck to buy spares. So this meant there was no work for me today as there was no vehicle free to drive the equipment around. But what I could do was take advantage of the spare seat in the truck going to Livingstone, in order that I could use this as an opportunity to see The Victoria Falls!

I got dropped at The Jolly Boy’s Hostel, where I’d stayed before, as I had noticed they do a free minibus to The Falls for guests in the hostel, which I managed to sneak onto successfully with no questions asked! Also on board were three others; Lewis from Essex, Caroline from Germany and Denise from Ireland. Once we arrived, Lewis went in solo, but the girls and I stuck together!

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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!

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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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