MLOL Heart

Morgan McKinnon, Teacher, Croftfoot Primary

Feb 12,2024 MLOL Blogs

I can't believe I'm finally checking in from the warmth and comfort of Kabula lodge, our MLOL home from home in Blantyre, Malawi.

It feels especially surreal to be here as hours before we were due to leave Glasgow, our flights via Ethiopia changed drastically and our entire itinerary had to be rebooked - big thanks to Maureen and Katy for working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the trip happen!

With new flights booked for the same day, we were raring to go and the new route even allowed for my first experience on a mega bus, which definitely exceeded my expectations.

The rest of our journey was pretty smooth sailing, minus a frantic yet hilarious game of musical cases at Manchester airport to ensure our hand luggage aligned with Ethiopia's strict new policy of 12kg per person. With bags checked in, and each of us wearing at least three jumpers to lighten our luggage, we were finally on our way. 

26 hours later, after one mega bus, three flights and two touchdowns...Geneva and Congo, we arrived at Chileka Airport in sunny Blantyre.

We were greeted at the airport by Francis and Charity who instantly made us feel so welcome and at home. As it's my first trip to Malawi, it felt lovely to finally meet them after hearing so much about them and their long standing relationship with the MLOL team. 

On the journey from Chileka to Kabula, I was mesmerised by the everyday life out of the car window. The first thing I noticed was how green Malawi looked. The plants and flowers are in full bloom and it is beautiful to see. The photos really don’t do it justice. 

I was also struck by the overwhelming sense of community; lots of lively hustle and bustle everywhere you look. 

After an essential stop at Shoprite (another fascinating experience), we headed back to meet Alice who runs Kabula Lodge. This year we are staying in one of Kabula’s lovely cottages along from the main site, equipped with lots of great spaces we've used for collaboration and planning over the last few days. We had a bite to eat and discussed a plan for the week ahead before getting some well earned sleep. 

Over the weekend, Shannon and I spent time planning for our upcoming teacher training whilst Katy and Sophie have prepared the leadership training, all starting in Blantyre rural on Monday.

We also had the opportunity to meet with some Malawian colleagues prior to the training to collaborate and establish our shared aims of the trip. This helped develop my understanding of the education system in Malawi, in both urban and rural areas. 

After only a few short days, I feel settled and excited for the week ahead!

MLOL Heart
Open Quote Mark
I was also struck by the overwhelming sense of community; lots of lively hustle and bustle everywhere you look.
Close Quote Mark