Thursday, 8 August 2019

Arrival back

Hi all, Mr Ellis and Miss Cachia here, we are on the bus from the airport, hurrah! We have all the bags too!

ETA at rear of Sainsbury’s 9am give or take depending on traffic. Everyone looking forward to seeing friendly faces and pets!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Boat safari and the start of our journey home

Hey everyone, Fran and Cat here.

We woke up this morning to monkeys on our tents waking us up for a breakfast with meat! (Sausages AND bacon and muffins)

Our boat Safari was beautiful, we saw hippos and crocs up close and sat next to about 30 elephants who were having a drink. We then stumbled across a very old, one-tusked elephant which sparked joy in our guiders as they hadn’t seen him since January and presumed him dead.

We all got a bit of a (massive) scare when the deathly still croc suddenly splashed his way off the bank and into the water. Apparently he wasn’t attacking, he was just running away from us. We also saw a crocodile try and fail to eat a monkey.

After our Safari we started the fun 46 hour journey home, with a 90 minute drive just to leave the Safari. We stopped again at the pottery barn to eat lunch and buy our mums some mugs. It was here we found out that yet another obstacle had been thrown into our already rocky path (dun dun dunnnn).

Due to political protests in Lilongwe we felt it ideal to avoid that little situation so we took a quick detour to Lake Malawi. We are currently sitting eating dinner, metres away from the lake, and will hopefully see a Lake Malawi sunrise in the morning. We’re camping at a hostel (no beds for us! Back to our original plan tomorrow to continue our homeward bound journey. Bet you can’t wait to see us!

See you soon!

Fran and Cat

PS - Any dogs must be brought to pick up for the joy and enjoyment of the team.

Monday, 5 August 2019


Hi everyone (Lilly and Anya here)

Today we sadly said goodbye to our family in Malawi (Stevie, Angelina, Fanny, Fanny, the builders and all the kids). It was very emotional to leave the village but we were all excited to get to safari!

We set off for Liwonde Safari Park and filled the 4 hour bus journey with lots of singing and watching the landscape. We stopped for a break at a picturesque backpackers spot and enjoyed fizzy drinks and our first use of a flushing toilet!

When we got to the safari park we saw loads of monkeys at the campsite so had to lock all of our food away! We pitched our tents, had a quick safety briefing where we were told that hippo, elephants, monkeys, and all the other animals in the park could freely roam the campsite!

In the evening we had a Jeep Safari where we saw impala, kudu, waterbuck, and a big herd of elephants. We watched the sunset and then searched for night animals.

At dinner we enjoyed a dance ceremony throughout our meal. It was our first time eating meat and we all enjoyed it!

We’re looking forward to a boat Safari tomorrow and of course missing everyone loads!

PS Granby and grandpa, I’m not going to see you on Thursday because Dad and I are driving from Heathrow to Putsborough to see the cousins, so I’ll see you on Sat/Sun. lots of love from Tash xxx

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Final day on project

Cat and Fran here to tell you about our best but most emotional day so far.
We started the day with our last bit of project work. Julia and I (Fran) painted a BEAUTIFUL alphabet on the seesaw to add the finishing touches to the playground. The rest of the team did our final classic brick line and levelled the ground to make the builders jobs easier when we left.
We then hosted a community lunch, which was attended by the chief and fundis (builders).  This preceded the highlight of our day, the leaving ceremony. There were a lot of meaningful speeches from both the community and us. We sang ‘fill up my cup’ again and ‘what makes you beautiful ‘ the ladies of the village once again showed us up with their singing and dancing, and the young female teachers sang us a thank you (zikomo) song in Chichewa. We all got very involved in the dancing, maybe Fran a bit too much. They danced us all the way back to our compound and we shook everyone’s hands.

We spent the rest of our evening enjoying the time we had left with the kids. We played some MASSIVE group games such as hokey kokey, head shoulders, and some others they introduced, including local clapping games.

After a pretty tearful goodbye to our favourite kids, we met with the local MP who gave us some very cool campaign merch (a baller move in my opinion) and the T-shirt has her face on it, so we have a lot of respect for her confidence. We are all excited to wear them next own clothes day.

We’ve all packed up now and had our last dinner in the village, a classic rice, cabbage and beans. We’re all feeling relaxed (Fran and Cach both got foot rums). But all rather (very) reluctant to leave. It feels like leaving TGS carpark was months ago yet it feels like we’ve only been in the village two days. The weeks have run away with us and all we want to do is run after them. Our time here has been beyond memorable and we will remember what we have learnt here for the rest of our lives, and the friendships we’ve made will last a long time, as while I’m writing this we are writing our favourite things about each of our team members. We’ve become a weird family on a gals trip to a beautiful 21 person villa with a hole outside and no water. It’s just like Greece, except much better.

Hope to hear from you all at home, we’ll update you on safari tomorrow. Not long now till we’re all home and can annoy you with stories in person.

Fran and Cat.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Final day on project

Hi Everyone, Tash, Katy and Emily here,
Today was our last full day on project :(
Most of the jobs were moving bricks, plastering, clearing up the site and levelling out the ground. Its starting to come together and we are all really excited to see the finished result. The heavens opened again today during lunch which delayed the work a little bit but most of the team went outside and danced in the rain, so overall we loved it.
In the drizzle we had a rematch of fundis vs. TGS and this time we came back with a better 2-2 result, which we were chuffed with considering the fundis weren't holding back! Emily was also a brilliant referee, even calling offsides against both teams  (George would be impressed).
Everyone is starting to really miss family and all the home comforts that we take for granted in England.
Thinking of you all, see you soon!
Love Tash, Katy, Emily and the team xx

Ps Mum and Dad Woz, please come with Lotts to collect me, I miss you too much xxx

Friday, 2 August 2019

Project and a mobile market!

Hi everyone, Erin and Anya here

Today was another project day where we worked in finishing painting on the playground, clearing the project site and further developing the CBCC. We learnt a new skill called pointing, which involved cementing the outside of the bricks and defining grooves which was very satisfying!

The plastering is newly complete - Julia is still a plastering marching but Anya, Becca, and Alex manages to cover a brick or two! Pointing cane to a halt just before lunch due to an unexpected rain shower which didn’t pass for a couple of hours by morale was still high!

After we had finished project work for the day, a local market travelled 2 hours on foot to visit us. Retail therapy definitely kept up our energy levels for the rest of the day.

Many games of Mafia has helped to pass the time during the rainy weather along with getting rid of the earwig infestation (especially in Erin and Zenia’s beds). I blame Anya’s massive snack collection.

It seems the others have refused to mention that Erin and Becca have become poetry MC’s and definitely are giving both Fran and AJ Tracey a run for their money.

We’re looking forward to carrying on tomorrow - it is definitely going too quickly! We’re all missing everyone loads!

PS Ella’s mum can you please book her an appointment at Aquavive for Thursday morning. Thank you!

Fran's Poem