Round Five: Day One
If you know me at all, you may already have read my blog, Tweets or FB posts documenting my four previous trips to work with Malawi Leaders of Learning in Blantyre, Malawi. Trip number five is underway. This time, I am accompanied by my colleague and chum Michelle Stewart, usually Project Lead to Glasgow’s Improvement Challenge. The stories of readying Michelle- a self- confessed five star girl- for the trip have had colleagues laughing for weeks, but we finally checked our cases in and were off!
Our journey, although 26 hours door to door, went smoothly and we made new pals along the way and had several great conversations with interesting people.
Arriving at Chileka airport, we joined the long and slow-moving queue for visas to enter Malawi. Although $75 seems a lot, it is small change compared to the cost of a visa for a Malawian to enter the UK, so we shut up and paid up! The welcome at the entrance was as warm and welcoming as ever with friends giving up tutor Saturday to greet us and help us to Kabula Lodge. A short briefing meeting allowed us to rearrange aspects of the programme due to staff illness. Wishing a speedy recovery to those feeling poorly.
Mall of our logistical arrangements are being managed by Francis, a great friend to MLOL. Today he attended the briefing meeting and then ensured we had water and other necessities before heading off.
Two exhausted women then sat, saying very little (I know, hard to believe eh?) eating a simple but tasty meal. Just as we were finishing, Paul , the Divisionsl Education Manager and his wife and for a wee visit too- such generous welcomes everywhere we turn.
We we have now headed to bed: shattered but very excited about what lies ahead.......