Friday, 22 July 2016

Day 7: Home visits

Blog 7 - Beth and Lara

After a trip to the market, we are now on strict Nutella and squash rations. Despite the humid air, we have made great progress on the playground and now all the equipment is in the ground ready to be bombarded by the children of Mwandika and Manjenje. 

After another lunch of carbs and veg (nobodies complaining... Yet...) we were given the opportunity to visit people in their homes and find out more about how Malawians live. 

This was tough on some as we were finding out the personal stories of those children we had been playing alongside for the past week. However we can all agree that it was important to break down these barriers. 

Although it has been a tiring day for many, there were too many positives to list, for example the influence hospitals and charities like Joshua have on the villagers. 

We are all looking forward to days of rest now, however we are really starting to see the positive impact we are making. 

Lots of love,
Team Malawi X

PS a happy 18th birthday to Geo, but don't worry I (Lara) am not embarrassed  by your comments. Try harder next time.


  1. PS. Hopefully that's embarrassing enough. It is my life goal to make you squirm. Don't forget orla and Cameron read these xxx

  2. My wawa pain, thank you so much for my final birthday present. If you're not embarrassed then I sure am after publicly crying whilst watching it. You're the most amazing, beautiful, intelligent, wonderful girl I've ever met in my entire life. You know the saying the captain goes down with the ship?? Well don't forget that Cameron and Orlagh read these so I'm effectively committing social suicide for the both of us. But seriously Laragh sinèad pain, I'm trying to embarrass you the best I can, you shouldn't have challenged me. You're completely adorable and I can't wait to give you a big kiss and a hug when you're home. 100% honesty now : if I could write you a song to make you fall in love, I would already have you up under my arm I've used up all of my tricks I hope that you like this, but you probably won't you think you're cooler than me. I miss you with my all sugar, make sure you're wearing sunscreen and you aren't burning or I'll be mad. You're the love of my life. To all you girls I hope you're still enjoying everything and having a great time. Work hard. Thank you for my presents sugar I love you loads and am thinking of you always xxxxxxx

  3. Don't forget your weekly clothes wash girls and congratulations on completing such hard graft with smiles. Gogglesprogs ask "why was the baker constipated?" answer "because he kneaded a poo!" Hope all is in working order for everyone, remember your water lubricates!! (I know gross.)Feeling as if you don't exist my daughter hope your not up chucking or covered in bites?? love you x3 MDC

  4. Hi Victoria et al,

    The new colour scheme of the children's play equipment looks very fetching and inviting. (You know how fond of pink I am, Victoria.) The children will love it, I'm sure.

    The visit to some of their homes must have been yet another revelation. A steep learning curve, I imagine.

    We take our hats off to you guys with all that you have done since you arrived there. To be set down in a totally unfamiliar foreign environment, living in basic accommodation on a vastly different diet must have been a big culture shock, to say the least. But did that stop any of you from rolling up your sleeves and getting on with the project, no way! Looking back over the last seven days and what you achieved is amazing. We are so very proud of you and can't wait to read further accounts and study more intriguing photographs. Love to you all. Grandma and Granddad xxxxxxx

  5. Hey Sanj,

    Feel like everyone is getting real hungry now. They may not be complaining but be careful, last thing I wanna hear is that they've mistaken you for a large talking chocolate bar. Miss you.

    Shaf x

  6. Finally I see photographic evidence that you are actually there! I thought you might have snuck away to the Maldives not Malawi!! The playground looks great. In fact with the skills you have picked up there we can probably fire our builders and you can take over when you get back. What do you think?!? Jesse's last day yesterday - very emotional but they had a great party at the Summers' house. It seems like much longer than a week that you have been away - I am completely outnumbered here so need you home soon! I am sure you are loving being around the children and that they provide some light relief from the hard work. Enjoy week 2 and I'm waiting for you to write one of the posts - you know how you love writing!! Mum xx

  7. Hi Hannah and the team, well done on all you have achieved so far - we cant believe you've been gone a week already but you have clearly done so much. Everyone at Selsey has been enjoying the blog updates and photos especially the poo chart which is very relevant for Ernie!!!! Lots of love to you all, keep up the great work xxx

  8. Woof woof woof woof milo woof woof woof woof swimming in the river woof woof woof woof lots of biscuits woof woof woof woof new toy woof woof woof woof missing you

  9. Hi Tabbi and everyone,

    Today I am sending you a specially edited Malawian trip version of Oh the Places You’ll go by Dr Seuss.

    Today is your day.
    You're off to Great Places!
    You're off and away!

    You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes.
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.
    You're there with your friends. And you know what you know.
    And YOU are the guys who'll decide where to go.

    You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
    About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
    With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
    you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

    And you may not find any
    you'll want to go down.
    In that case, of course,
    you'll head straight out of town.

    It's opener there
    in the wide open air.

    Out there things can happen
    and frequently do
    to people as brainy
    and footsy as you.

    And then things start to happen,
    don't worry. Don't stew.
    I’m sure very soon you will
    All have a poo


    You’ll be laying some bricks
    Or maybe instead
    You’ll be carrying buckets
    (But not on your head)

    You’ll be mixing cement
    You won’t stop though your boiling
    The loos will be built!
    You’ll keep working and toiling

    Or maybe your job will be
    Building a spaces
    Where the children can play
    With such joy on their faces

    The hoeing with hurt
    Both your hands and your back
    But you all will keep going
    You won’t stop you won’t slack

    You may sometimes get down
    Shed a tear or be wailing
    But on hand to support you…
    are Twinam and Ayling!

    You’ve run out of Nutella
    You are thirsty and hot
    Maybe bitten and scratchy
    But stop you will not

    And will you succeed?
    Yes! You will, indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)


    be your name Lauren or Martha or Livie
    or Tory or Robyn or you’re maybe called Issy
    Or Emma or Hannah or Vicky or Claud
    (The names Twinam and Ayling must not be ignored)
    Or Rachel or Maddie or Tabitha too
    Or Lara or Niamh, Beth, Sanjana or Lou

    You're off the Great Places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting.
    So...get on your way!

    Love mummy (and I am really sorry if I missed a name) xxx

  10. Food situation sounds pretty scary hope you guys are surviving ok x to keep you up to date on current affairs, pokemon go is sort of dying out and might not exist when you get back :( keep having an amazing time, lots of love TG x Ps Martha miss you loads nd can't wait for the 14th x x x

  11. Charles Dennis III23 July 2016 at 01:44

    Sitting in the sitting room (good name for the room) with the sounds of 'get him team mates' and 'how'd he get that shot' filtering through from Charlie. Well, my big news (in my little world) is that Lidl have moved everything around! Didn't go there last week, but so maybe other's have already told you of this cataclysmic event; are there now millions of fathers worldwide sitting in their respective sitting rooms, wondering 'why' and trying to come to terms with this upheaval to their lives. This is assuming of course that Lidls worldwide are all the same (so far checked 10 in the UK, Crete, Spain and France - layout same, smell the same and cereals the same). But hang on, maybe we are 'special', maybe, just maybe, the cry of 'I do shop at Lidl, but only for the smoked salmon/French cheese/wine' that echos across Sevenoaks has now been heard by the Lidl hierarchy and we are to be given a 'Lidlelite' or 'Lidlbitspecial'. My mind is now turning; have they thought of the consequences!! Does it now mean another shopping trip; one for the salmon/cheese/wine at Lidlelite and one to Lidl for the other stuff that 'you really can't tell the difference, although I would not serve it to my mother in-law/cat/small child'. Mind turns again - Christmas Lidl adverts (I expect being film now ready for the end of August). Will it now be: woman/man eating Xmas goody saying 'wow did this really come from Lidl, not Lidlelite' or will it be '..from Lidlelite, not somewhere I freely admit to shopping in'. Need a rest/cut the grass/play quadcopters, so it is goodbye (until eating Tortillas and dip day) from me and 'get him, what, head shot' from Charlie. Keep up the good work and enjoy - Dad

  12. Niamh mcs .... Nana & Grandad smith send their love.Apparently they tried to comment but no idea how to so asked me to say keep your friend entertained with the bob the builder song you & grandad do together ....
    Another hot day here & off to inform other grandparents of your fantastic work. They have no idea what a blog actually is & i had to repeat it seversl times before they actually got the word blog..... you no what they like!!!!
    cant believe ots been a week now & no contact its allvery strange... so all of you enjoy your days "off" & have fun xxxxx

  13. Enjoy your day of rest everyone! It sounds and looks as if you are all having an amazing experience. The home visits must have been a stark reminder of how lucky we are to have been born in the UK. I see that the Joshua foundation run health clinics in Mwandika - will you get a chance to visit one Claudia? On a personal note, godfather John and Karen came for supper last night on their way back from dropping Caitlin off at Gatwick for the start of her Gap Medics trip to Tanzania. I wonder if Charlie is on the same trip? They were sorry to miss you yet again. Take care everyone and enjoy the new supplies of Nutella and squash. xxx

  14. Hey Martha hope you are having a great time, doing lots of danky tings. its taken me a while to write to you this week but ive only just got up for the first time since friday. im going to mow the lawn today which should help me get to ten kilometres on my Pokemon go egg. youve probs walked quite far and there are probably loads of rare pokemon out in Malawi so if there are tell me and ill fly out to catch them. Have fun. From your main g Lucas.

  15. Lou, hi from the kitchen having just finished my bacon sandwich and thinking of you all eating your carbs and veg wondering whether goat is on your menu tonight. Hope it is not too hot out there and you are all managing with the various creatures roaming and/or flying around. Very impressed with all the hard work and trust your perp joints are plumb and your bed joints level (I mean your walls are straight and true!)Hope the camera is behaving itself and the batteries will last as we are all looking forward to your stories and the pictures of your new found friends in Malawi. Your brother is up to his holiday tricks, nothing but he did ask me to say hi and then retired back to bedroom at 10am having told me he plans to be 6 foot by the end of the summer, arggggh! lots of love dad xxx

  16. Hi Beth,
    I'm glad your enjoying the food-
    and that you put up with me for 7 months!
    Miss you lots and can't wait to see you.
    Jack xx

  17. So proud of you all making a difference. We have tried to send messages but they don't seem to want to come through. Thinking of you lots Rachel, have you managed to wash your hair yet?!
    Lots of love mum and dad, p.s Charlie misses you lots and immy kind of x

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  19. Hi Lauren (Dennis)! Sounds like you are all doing a great job in Malawi - hope you are all coping with the food etc though! Missing you and think we should have a London froyo trip when you get back or whatever food you miss the most! Have you been given a nickname along the lines of "giant" by the kids there yet?! So proud of all that you are doing there, you're all stars :)
    Love to all, Laura xxx
    P.S., your dad's message made me laugh!

  20. The playground is looking fabulous I must say :P you've achieved so much in such a short space of time, I'm sure it's tiring as heck with all the *shudders* manual labour and home visits, but it does sound incredible... best wishes from england and here's hoping you continue to have a great (if demanding) time :)

    -Isabel x

    (P.S: missing you lots vicky, i hope you fare well)

  21. Niamh C Dog rolled in fox poo again. Missing your shampooing skills terribly. Oh yes missing you too
    Isn't it funny that a bear loves huney buzz buzz buzz I wonder why he does

  22. Wot is it with Nutella?
    Niamh C hope you got all my messages posted on variable days here and there. Thought that counts xxx

  23. Barry and Diane King23 July 2016 at 07:27

    Keep up the good work. Hoping to join you soon Martha! Love from Gronny and Grondod xx

  24. hey guys, looks like you are having a great time and coping really well, if it gets tough just don't forget that what you are doing and everything you have done to fundraise is truly amazing, you got this! xx

  25. Lara
    Hi buttons good blog must have been a tough day for you all.
    Keep up the amazing good work you doing a great job.
    Great to see the kids playground just finished
    Those kids will miss you, just as we miss you now
    well done we are so proud of you.
    Hugs Orla & Cameron.

  26. Hi Robyn,
    this is your Mum - hopefully posting a message on the blog page, but as you know I am not brilliant at this so I might be buying something from itunes. It is great being able to read about your activities - although I have only found you in a photo on day one - so hope that you are actually there Robz? The building work is very impressive, sounds hard though. Must admit I had not expected so much information about everyone's bowels - but hey why not! We have just got back from Turkey - where there was a military coup. Not exactly what you are looking for in a sailing holiday, but we survived the road blocks and soldiers carrying machine guns, so all OK. We missed you alot - Turkey needed your smiling face, but I am happy that Malawi has you for now and I am sure that everyone's hard work will be enormously appreciated. Dad and Tom send big hugs. Take care - deet up. Will write again. Much love Mum xxxxxxx

  27. Hi Victoria,

    We hope you are enjoying having a rest and wonder what you are doing now you've got a day/s holiday.

    Simon, Peter and George came over yesterday. Peter has had his SATS results and did exceptionally well. George (now 3) was as entertaining as usual. Bear in mind that Simon sometimes takes off his spectacles to examine things more closely, this conversation is what occurred between George and Granddad:

    George, handed his Thomas the Tank Engine with a carriage to his Granddad to be linked together.

    Visually impaired Granddad: You will have to do it, George. I can’t see it.

    George: Yes, you can Granddad!

    Granddad: No, I can’t see it, George, my eyes are not good enough.
    George: Well, take your glasses off then!

    I thought you would like that little nugget! :-)

    I am now the proud owner of a new Kindle Paperwhite and can read in bright sun light as well as in the dark and unlike my previous Kindle app, the battery charge lasts for weeks, not hours. It's much easier on the eyes with its built in light. Just finished reading Wilkie Collins' (a contemporary of Charles Dickens)"The Dead Secret" - a mystery which made for compelling reading.

    Did I tell you that recently I went to see the film "Me Before You" based on the book by Jojo Moyes? Book is very entertaining despite being about a difficult subject, paraplegia, and the film was a fair copy. I've also read Moyes' sequel, "After You" which although enjoyable I felt the story had run its course by the time I reached the end. Both books make for easy reading.

    There was a biography on BBC2 this evening of the much loved Roald Dahl, as it is the centenary of his birth, which was really enjoyable. He was an amazing man apart from his writing and a wonderful Dad. I've promised Peter that I'll take him to see "The BFG" which is now showing in local cinemas.

    I spoke to Mellyn on the telephone yesterday. I think she was missing you and feeling a bit lonely but she says she will be seeing Bella today, Dad tomorrow and Calin is coming for a sleepover on Monday. She said she would try and write to you on this blog. Hope she does! Love you lots. Grandma and Granddad. xxxxxxxx

    in the holidays