MLOL Heart

Dale Henderson, Principal Teacher, Pirie Park Primary

Sep 22,2023 MLOL Blogs

If you had told me last year while I was sitting in this same seat in Kabula Lodge that I’d be back again today I don’t think I would have believed you!

I feel incredibly fortunate to be in the position that I am and cannot wait to get started again.

Thanks so much to the charity for allowing me the opportunity to come back so soon and to my incredibly supportive school for releasing me without any hesitation (that could be a compliment or the complete opposite but let’s keep thinking positively…). 

In comparison to the journey last year that took 72 hours in total, this year’s mere 26 hours from leaving home were a complete doddle! It’s a good day when the biggest travel hiccup is the Glasgow Central Station M&S tills being down when it was time to stock up with snacks for our train to Manchester!

After a smooth check in at Manchester Airport and a quick bite to eat we were on to the longest part of the journey (after a quick ‘final call’ announcement but it wouldn’t be an MLOL trip without a bit of rushing through the airport). We were delighted to have had plenty of space on every flight to spread out and try and get as much rest as possible. 

After travelling back in time… we landed in Addis Ababa in the year 2016 following Ethiopia  celebrating their new year just over a week ago. The 2016 decorations were in-fact accurate and not just old decor that had remained over time as we first assumed. ,

The Ethiopian calendar is actually seven years younger than the Gregorian calendar and is spread over 13 months (amazing what you pick up from the inflight magazine when you don’t have the option to watch tv monitors on the shorter flight).

We grabbed a bite to eat and had a quick freshen up in an overall very impressive airport - although walking in to the crowded men’s bathroom I was asked if I was there for a ‘pee pee or a poo poo’… that did ruin the charm of it all slightly for me. It’s great to see what an epicentre of travel and tourism parts of Africa are becoming as the airport was absolutely heaving. Then it was on to the final part of the journey, the flight to Malawi. 

Landing in Malawi we were greeted warmly by some of the government’s education team and Francis our wonderful driver/superhero and his lovely wife Charity. Although I had only visited once before it was a great sense of coming home as I seen familiar faces and asked about families and friends that I had met and discussed on my previous trip.

Then it was back to Kabula Lodge to again see friends old and new and for a well deserved shower then we popped out to get some essentials and a bite to eat. 

This month is #MalawiTourismMonth and to me it is clear to see why this beautiful country is growing rapidly in the area of tourism with the friendliest welcomes I’ve experienced from anywhere in the world and the endless opportunities available to you no matter what your interests.

Tomorrow we will be travelling to a nearby safari as part of our own tourist opportunity before starting our training on Monday and I can’t wait to share our experience with others and perhaps encourage more people to visit this beautiful place.

Until then it’s an early night in our lovely rooms under the familiar friend that is the mosquito net…

Tiwonana Mawa! (See you tomorrow!)