Last night was a night of thought and reflection. We were split into smaller groups to mull over the experience so far. Whilst interviewing, the thing that hit hardest was the positivity of the families, despite such hardship: no water and no electricity for all bar a few. Another aspect that shocked us was the extremely high number of children who suffered from malaria so early on in life; to hear their parents talk so frankly of a disease, which is so distant to us, was something which definitely took getting used to.
This morning was a completely different experience. After finishing off the last few interviews in the morning, we began to prepare for what we knew would be a hectic afternoon: a clothes sale. To prepare, every donation had to be laid out in the church. Before the sale started, we had lunch, where for the first time we tried the local delicacy: Nshima. This was an enjoyable experience not just because we got fantastic food but also because we immersed ourselves in the culture. Eating with our hands was very much a highlight.
After this delicious lunch, we opened the doors to a chaotic queue fighting over a place in our ‘shop’. We sold for about 3 hours learning many local words, which are very hard to pronounce. At the end of the day, after managing to sell most of the donations, we said a final goodbye to the kids and headed back to the lodge. After another session of data inputting we were greeted with a lovely dinner. We then proceeded to plan our lessons for tomorrow and finish the day with yet more card games.
Just before bed, we heard the result of our labours: we raised 6,458 kwacha (the equivalent to £646), which will be used to pay for a borehole in the school. We did not expect to raise quite this much so we are absolutely thrilled by the achievement: the community is paying for their own water! Thank you to everyone for their donations.
By Matt Wootten and Orlando Taylor