Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Day 12: Last day in the village

Blog post 12 - Niamh and Niamh

We're finding it hard to believe this was our last day in the village. 

The day began with half the team having a go at getting stuck in the mud making bricks barefoot, and the rest of us heading to Mwandika to put the finishing touches on the playground and the interior of the feeding centre. 

Just before lunch we united to reflect on what we've achieved these past 10 days; we were all so proud and even got some tears out of Twinham! The kids were ecstatic and the teachers overwhelmingly grateful - we couldn't have foreseen the impact our help has had for both adults and children alike. 

After waving goodbye to our handiwork we all piled in with all the village for a huge meal cooked by the hero of the trip, Ida our cool. WE HAD CHICKEN! Our first bit of meat all trip went down a treat. 

The day was closed with an extravagant closing ceremony including singing, speeches, and of course dancing. Saying goodbye to all our friends was a lot harder and more emotional than we'd have ever thought, and tears weren't only issued by Mrs Twinham this time!

The day closed with several more card games and rounds of Bananagrams ending with a mass singalong sat watching the stars. 

Knowing we came here aiming to make a difference to the lives of the Manyenje villagers, it's unbelievable how much they have also impacted us. 

Manyenje, you will be missed. 

Tuonana zangas 

Team Malawi. 


  1. Amazing. You should ALL be very proud.
    So nice to see the team photo. Enjoy the final days of your trip. I feel quite emotional reading today's blog!
    Love you loads & loads Tabbi.
    Daddy xxxxxx

  2. Niamhs
    Sounds great
    Tell Niamh we miss her
    Tell Niamh that I am out every night. You all should not leave me on my own. Vic abhi. Elli Gilly you name it. It's party city in humid Hunton. Poor old Harvey does not get a look in

    Looking forward to s Ewing you I. A few weeks. Dad

    If this is the last post. HAPPY BIRTHDAY


  3. See. Dads can do Mrs
    Saves too!!!!!!

  4. Auto correct. So I have just proved the rule. Messages messages


  5. How fantastic to hear from the Niamhs of the team!!!! amaxing work girls & whst a lovely team photo .... cant wait to hear all about it , mum xxxxx

  6. Charles Dennis IV :)27 July 2016 at 13:24

    hi Lauren was that the wisdom tree that you went to see before?

  7. yay loved the group photos guys. Congratulations on such a fantastic job you have all completed. I am sooo jealous! Happy safariing! Just heard Joburg has had snow. Philippa would have chased you down at the airport had she been well enough. She sends her love. write down all the animal names so you don't forget. So proud of you ladies xx

  8. Hi B - some wonderful photos of Team Malawi. Love the tree. You should paint a sister tree back at TGS. Channel Manyenje back to Tonbridge! I've decided on a wall in front garden rather than railings - can you bring some bricks back? Even better you can build the wall now. Ewans room needs redecorating - you up for that as well? Gramps says hello and hopes you enjoying yourself. He's looking forward to seeing you. We picked cherries at the weekend - only 4kgs this year so half of what we normally get. We'll try to save you some !! Missing you loads. Can't wait for Friday

  9. Aagh! Mum tells me you coming home Sunday...Replace with "Can't wait till Sunday"... Dadxxxxx

  10. Congratulations and well done to the team for what you have all achieved and experienced in Malawi. Great to see that it was a positive experience for you all. I am sure you will have some great memories of the trip. Enjoy the well deserved 3 days at the safari. Can't wait to have you all back on Sunday ....Sanah love you lots. Take care.

  11. Woo hoo last day of bricks n hoeing!
    Love your painted tree too
    Enjoy your treat and see you soon , mind those hippos

    G dog x

  12. Its so cool seeing everything you guys have achieved, it looks like the most unforgettable experience and I can't wait to hear everyones stories when you're back. Niamh legend, if your birthday comes when theres no internet then have a mad one x martha, miss you loads can't wait to FaceTime you and see your egg face x Love love love to everyone, TG

  13. What an achievement and experience of a lifetime ! You should all be so proud of yourselves for making a difference to so many people at such a young age.
    Great work.
    Loved the blog and the pictures. Very emotional
    Hope this isn't the last blog.

    Can't wait to have you back Sanah Jaan. Counting days now.
    Enjoy the remaining days and the safari thoroughly and have a safe trip back home.

    Dadu Dadi leave tomorrow for US
    Lots of love from all
    Missing you tooooooooo much
    Mum xxxxx

  14. What a finale for the closing chapter of the Malawi project! I too felt rather emotional reading the two Niamhs' thoughts and feelings on the last day, having followed your journey daily through all your accounts and photographs. You all definitely needed those celebrations even with a few tears thrown in. I bet you savoured the chicken delicacy and now you're are off on your safari taking with you all those wonderful memories and a sense of pride in all your achievements. It's great to see the whole team and love the way you marked the project with all your names on the tree. Hope to hear more when you get back home, if not before on here. Love you. Grandma and Granddad xxxxxxxx

  15. Hi all, congratulations from me too. You went there to learn and make a difference, and you did just that. Despite the tough work and heat you have come out smiling and deserve to be very proud of what you have achieved. (love the idea of a mirror tree somewhere in the school to remind you of this adventure -Mrs Twinam??) Things in Kent are rather pedestrian in comparison.The excitement of my evening was watching Celebrity Masterchef while eating a banana - oh dear. So onward to the next stage ( hippos really?) can't wait to hear tomorrow's news. Take care - deet everything - and have an amazing time. Teresa xxxxx

  16. Yay. A lovely group photo!!! Fantastic job all of you. Love the Tree of Hands too.

    Tell Vicky that we finished OITNB and we're mighty upset with the ending. Like that's a year we'll have to wait for the next instalment.

  17. What a wonderful 10 days! Great group photo and a beautiful tree of hands. Enjoy the safari everyone! Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday Claudia - we have two good pieces of news for you... Xx

  18. Here's one very emotional and proud Grandma! Well done my darling and all your lovely co workers! You are stars !! Enjoy the rest of the trip. Love you loads , Grandma. Xx

  19. Very proud of you all fantastic work love the group photo and all the smiling faces. Can't wait to see you Sunday Lauren H we has missed you loads love Mum and Dad xx😀

  20. Charles Dennis III (the little one now)27 July 2016 at 23:49

    Hi. Looks like you have made a difference to a lot of lives - including your own. One dart already lost in the garden! Riddle answers were 'foot' and 'map'. Enjoy the change of scenery. Big hug, Dad

  21. Well that brought tears to my eyes so goodness knows how you all felt! You should be so proud of yourselves for the hard work you've put in and for what you've achieved. I hope the safari is as amazing as you deserve. See you in 3 days now (not counting!) Love mum xxx

    1. PS to above post - Lou - meant to add that's a lovely photo of you holding the children. Also love the Malawi Tree x x

    2. PS to above post - Lou - meant to add that's a lovely photo of you holding the children. Also love the Malawi Tree x x

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  23. Hi Tabbi (and everyone),
    Lovely message and photos today and you all look so smiley and well! The photos where Maddy and Lou are holding the children are gorgeous.
    Now I know you have been worried about the water safari because of the hippos so I decided to look up some nice facts about them. Here is what I found:
    - the name hippo means river horse;
    - it is considered the third largest land mammal (after the white rhino and elephant);
    - resting in water (where they spend a large amount of time) keeps their temperature down;
    - hippos give birth in water;
    - their closest relations are whales and dolphins;
    - a male hippo is called a bull, a female a cow and a baby a calf;
    - a group of hippos is called a herd, pod, dale or bloat;
    - hippos live for around 45 years;
    - hippos eat mostly grass;
    - they weigh up to 32 tonnes and apx 13 feet long and 5 feet tall;
    - although chubby they can easily outrun a human;
    - they can be extremely aggressive if threatened;
    - they are regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.
    Well... ok... so my last three or four facts are not exactly 'nice' but as long as you don't threaten one you should be ok (and remember you only have to be able to outrun the other humans!!! :)
    Love mummy xxx

  24. Mission accomplished! You've all done so well. I'm sorry you had to wait so long for one of your 4 "CH's" Martha. I hope it was worth it! Enjoy the safari and we can't wait to see you. Lots of love xx

  25. Hi Maddy,
    Me and flo love that photo of u and your little friend!!
    Don't worry about the streaks I am doing well at keeping them!
    Don't want to admit it but I do miss u:((
    So much love
    Kitty xxxx

    I am missing u so much I cried the other night cos I wanted a Maddy hug!!!
    I am so proud of u and u should be proud of yourself.
    Can't wait until your back
    I love you so much!!
    Flo xxxxxx

  26. Ps sorry about the lack of comments and sorry if loads the same come up we only just worked out how to do it xxxxxx
    Love mum dad flo and kitty

  27. Safari time finally !!!
    Sanah, remember the tips from Tanzania and Tempa.

    Do not enter the hippo territory (Dad is listening this time)
    No eating Beef Burgers a metre from a Lion
    Do not come between a mother and baby elephant. And if an elephant flaps its ears and runs towards you - run for your life ( in your safari van of course)
    Empty your bladders before you embark on your safari (no point in ' marking your territory' in the safari plains).

    I'm sure it will be as amazing an adventure as Tanzania. Soak it all in and enjoy every moment.
    Love you loads
    Mum xxxxx

  28. Sanah darling,

    We've been missing you.
    Have left kharchi with mum split in 2- one half for Tanay and one for you.

    Feeling so sorry to leave today without meeting you. Hopefully will see you soon in India.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and Bon Voyage for the journey back home.

    Love you lots
    Dadu and Dadi

  29. Ahhh you guys!!! Congratulations on making such an amazing difference in the life of the community, so proud of you all xxxxx
    Emma and Martha - Enjoy the safari! and Marv, hope this safari moves u as much as the one at the zoo, don't cry too much, much love S. xxx

  30. I can't describe how proud I am of all of you. You have raised so many smiles back home. Olivia - I just can't wait to give you a big hug x

  31. That made my day reading the two Niamh's account of their last day in the village!!
    Well done everyone what an experience you have all had ... Enjoy the rest of your time lots of love mum xxx

  32. Love&miss you loads live and can't wait to see you, it's been such a long two weeks without you. But I bet everyone is doing good and you are all making everyone so proud, well done for everything and missing everyone loads aswell as olive:((
    From em #teamperren and #teamrocket for you Lara;)

  33. WOW Victoria! Aunty Ruth sent me the link to have a look what you have been up to. Amazing! What an experience - I want to come next time! You must be really proud, I am certainly proud to know and be related to someone as wonderful, kind and intelligent as you. Well done and I want to hear about it all when you get back! Good luck for the rest of your trip. Well done to all the people with you and to all who arranged such a brilliant idea....