Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Day 11: Making bricks

Blog post 11: by Lauryn d & Robyn

After an interesting and hilarious night of sleep talking from Hannah, we began our usual morning routine. Half of us to Mwandika to finish painting, cement mixing, carrying rocks for the sandbanks and hoeing (we are always hoeing!). The other half stayed in manyenje to lime the toilet block, paint educational boards and sort out donations for Joshua - most of our suitcases would have halved in size.

After lunch, the groups switched sites. Those of us remaining in manyenje got the opportunity to make some bricks after a long, scenic walk along the river bank. Brick making involves standing barefoot in mid, getting covered in the mud and attempting to pack it into wooden moulds like a sandcastle (we knew those beach trips would come in useful somewhere!).

We also received another visit from Winnie (the Joshua founder) and her son David, who were not afraid to get stuck in.

Today has been particularly hot and sunny so we are ready to get a good nights sleep for our final day in manyenje!

P.s we are all really missing you back in the UK!


  1. Yo Bitha, Daddy again - really hoping I make the first comment on today's blog! Liking the facepaint - love how you're getting your face in so many pictures!! Keep it up! Lots of love Daddy xxxx"

    1. Except it's not Tabbi, it's Louise - you numpty!!

    2. I was just commenting in general that I like facepaint........ [reaches for reading glasses]

  2. Yo Bitha, even more exciting news - I think I have sussed out how to post myself - finally!! Even your grandmother managed it before me!! Xx

  3. Niamh C
    Mums using all my 3G up so me and Ed have resorted to the challenge channel by the end of the week we'll be getting pointless answers on every question!!
    Pouring with rain here in Cavan :( at least its hot and sunny where you are!!
    Miss you lots, looking forward to seeing you soon!!
    love Erin xxxx

  4. Hi Beth,
    Good to see your hands are nice and clean!
    I've arrived in the south of France all safe and sound, it's 35 degrees every day and bright sunshine here but still a shame you couldn't come with us! Enjoy the time off you've got coming up you deserve it, see you soon, lots of love, Jack xx
    Ps. Sorry my first message didn't come sooner, there was no signal in Wales even at the top of a mountain!!

  5. Lara I'm really missing my copilot who can never tell me directions on time and who says to turn left when we need turn right. Driving isn't quite as fun when I'm not going the wrong way because of you. I hope you're okay and I'm missing you lots as usual. Love you to the moon and back, only a few more days! Hope all you girls are having fun xxx

  6. Hi Lou - love the face paint! Last day of work before safari. Glad to see the trousers have survived. I bet you're looking forward to your bed and a nice hot shower. Not long now but still lots of excitement to be had. Love and miss you, mum xx

  7. Hi Lou, great to see you honing your brick making skills, so if you find satellites are not your thing when you are doing your weeks work experience in Chelmsford, I have a place for you at Ibstock ( a leading brick manufacturer in the Uk!!) Also good to see your photo bombing skills are coming along even if your camouflage is confusing others. Joking apart I hope you and the rest of the magnificent Team Malawi are not only making life easier for children in Malawi/ broadening your outlook on life and making friends but also enjoying yourselves. Lots of love dad. Xxx

  8. Niamh C
    Nice meal with Vic
    Cooler tonight
    Poor old Harvey needs cuddles!!!
    See you soon

  9. Hi peeps, I think you all will be missed by the locals when you move on . Make the most of your time . It looks like you have all done amazing work there . Mrs T, pls stop hiding behind the camera , it would be nice to see you , girl pls make this happen . Enjoy xx
    G dog

  10. Hi Victoria,

    The pictures and account of the brick manufacture remind me of the words of The Hippopotamus Song:
    Mud, mud, glorious mud,
    Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
    So follow me, follow, down to the hollow
    And there let us wallow in glorious mud!

    You must be having mixed feelings about coming to the end of the project - pleased with your achievements but sad that it's nearing the end. However, you must have made some lovely friends and what fantastic experiences you've had, memories of which will last a lifetime.

    Last night we watched the last episode of Professor Brian Cox’s “Forces of Nature”, a really fascinating series in four parts. If you get chance, watch it on iPlayer when you get back. I’m sure it would appeal to you. I think you would find it very interesting because he often uses chemistry to explain many phenomena from the forces of nature including that which shapes a six sided snowflake to the delicate splendour of a moonbow revealing the colours that paint our world, plus many other facts and occurrences in between. (A moonbow is like a rainbow but one that is formed by the reflection of the moon as occurs in Iceland). Throughout, he links many events to what occurs in the universe giving us a better understanding of other planets as well as our own. It was a documentary with a completely new and fresh approach as only the inimitable Brian Cox can do when it comes to astronomy. So go for it, Victoria! 

    Love you lots and look forward to your homecoming so that we can catch up on Skype.

    Grandma and Granddad xxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Hi Vicky,

      I'll have a look and see if we have any out of date stock at work.

      Hope you're having a great time!

      Love Uncle Si.

      PS - Sarah and the boys send their love xx

  11. Hey Robyn, fantastic - words from you and a picture too. You look great and very smiley. Brick making looks such fun! Guess you are building castles of sorts.Sounds like a fab last day of work on your project. It will be great tomorrow to look back at all that you have achieved, but sad to say goodbye to your new friends. Wish I could be there to hear the singing. We miss you loads. (Sometimes I talk to you in your lovely room - except you are not there -I know..weird). But your work is now done, and the safari yet to come. Very exciting. So instead of wishing that you were here I wish I was there seeing all of the amazing things that you are seeing. Have a good and well deserved night's sleep. much love and kisses. Mum xxxxx

  12. Hey Robsy, we miss you loads! Keep up the great work; we're all very proud of you! Come home soon and safely. Looking forward to your new construction skills coming in useful around the house! Tom x x

  13. Still looking good Muffin. And is that a smile I see on your face?! Hopefully there have been more of them than tears. Enjoy the safari. I'm sure it will be amazing. and remember don't dip your toes in the water......the animals have to drink from that :)) see you Sunday! You won't believe the house!! Xxxxxxxx

  14. Hi Tabbi and everyone,
    I think you should know I'm obviously comfort eating and have reached a new record weight in a week so lucky you are back Sunday! Last night I ate a whole box of orange Matchmakers after I'd already eaten a tuna pasta bake (sorry to mention chocolate, which I'm sure most of you are craving but at least I didn't' mention cheese and crackers)! Not sure what size I will get to when you go off to Uni so we may have to reconsider your life choices, but at least you have practical skills to fall back on now.
    Rachel I am a bit disappointed in your educational alphabet board - surely H should have been for hoe, M for mud and P for poo!! I understand you could not fit C for constipation on it.
    Although you have your two safaris to look forward to I'm sure this last day will be a sad one when you have to say goodbye. Chin up chucky eggs you are off for new adventures!
    I love you sweetie,
    Mummy xxx

    1. By the way did someone spill paint on the weather board or is that artistic rain?

  15. Charles Dennis III26 July 2016 at 23:36

    Hi. I thought you might like a couple of riddles to solve. I found a website with 1500 on! These were the best out of about 50 that I read - but they are more amusement than Mensa!Only news here is that Charlie has got the dart board out......

    A dad and his four boys stand in line.
    All crowned, they toil in darkness.
    Another family they see, two birds of a feather.
    All of them together clad in leather.
    What are they?

    What has rivers but no water, forest but no trees and cities but no people.

  16. Issy, great to see you knee deep in mud and enjoying it. You can all be very proud of what you have achieved in the village and I'm sure they wil give you a wonderful send off. The safari sounds great and I understand that you might even get access to hot water. Enjoy the last few days and savour every new moment. Love Dad and Mum

  17. Tabbi I just thought I need to give you the answers to yesterday's quiz:
    Songs - The Lazy Song, Bruno Mars; Sorry, JB; Payphone, Maroon 5; Gangnam Style; Shake it off, Taylor Swift
    Incredibles; Pitch Perfect; House Bunny; What Happened in Vegas; Notting Hill
    How did you do?
    Love mummy xx

  18. Hi Lauren reaaaally lovely to read your blog with Robyn. How therapeutic all that mud looks, you would pay a fortune over here! Now you know two ways of making bricks which is the stronger? Raining here!! and oh so grateful! Enjoy the goodbye ceremony and soak it all in. Countdown to your driving lessons and we'll be 'spinning high' on your birthday!
    lot of love Mum, Dad and Charlie xxx

  19. Hi Victoria,

    Just to let you know that Uncle Simon is going to look and see whether there is any out of date stock of dressings when he's next on duty. If there is, you'll have to let us know where to send anything when you get back. Meanwhile, enjoy the safari and the remainder of your time in Malawi. Lots of love and kisses, Grandma and Granddad xxxxxxxxxxx

  20. Hi Rachel hope you had a wonderful farewell with the village and you must be very excited about the safaris. We are looking forward to hearing all your stories! Lots of love and take care mummy, daddy, immy and charley

  21. Oh dear, Victoria,

    In true Grandma style, I made a faux pas! I can hear you saying now, "Oh no, Grandma, what have you been up to?"

    What happened, I sent an email to members of the family about the Malawi project as I wanted to share the wonderful work you've all been doing and it was also a way of raising awareness. But then I got an email by return from your Granddad's cousin, Colin, pointing out that he thought your teachers there would have found a more comfortable place to write your accounts. Much to my horror when I re-read my email, I had left out the "l" in "blog" which resulted in "bog"!!! In much haste, I sent a further email pointing out my mistake, saying that it was all because of the poo chart that I had made the Freudian slip!

    I'll leave you to your blushes! Love from a suitably chastened Grandma. xxxxxxxxx

    PS Granddad said that the bog could well be the most comfortable seat anyway! :-)

  22. PPS Victoria, do you feel sometimes that we're a bit like an Edina and Saffy duo when I make these embarrassing mistakes? Poor you!

  23. Marv and Em, second consecutive day of posting?? !? Maybe my withdrawal symptoms are growing. Hey Em, nice to see the GCSE art skills coming into handy !
    Still finding it strange that I can't text you guys out of the blue about stupid things and just an update that you'll love Emma, Ellie has completely 100% banned me from going, so much that she's kicked me out of the group. Can't wait for you to come home and tell me all about your mad adventures out there. Insanely proud of both of you and everyone else, hope the food hasn't been too hard on you Marv. Missing you lots, much love xxxxxx (ps. there's a new season of University Challenge that I know you just can't wait to watch)

  24. Hey gals so cool seeing the final touches on the projects, hard work has all paid off. Have an absolutely jazzy and lit and amazing time on the safari. Martha can't wait for you to come back I'm so bored without your banter. Love to all of you guys missing everyone, TG x x x

  25. Niamh C Day 3 in Cavan we saw the sun today !!
    And found a wifi cafe in BJD we could almost be in Malawi with the lack of broadband here !!
    Hope you are having fun as I think you might be on the relaxing bit of your trip now ? Love you lots mum xx