Life in a little mud hut in Malawi!
Two and a half months ago, I couldn’t even imagine what life as a teacher in one of the most rural African schools would be like but I can tell you now, it has been the most rewarding experience of my life!
Malawi is a world so different from our own lives of luxury. It is a world filled with simple joys in which children are content playing imaginary football or inventing toys from the mzungu’s (white people’s) trash – including cardboard boxes and tin cans. The generosity of the villagers is overwhelming! Despite it being the hungry season, they are willing to provide us with rice, maize, tomatoes, bathing water and whatever else they can manage. The students are extremely respectful and incredibly keen to learn. In the primary school I teach English, maths and science to 50 Year 7 students while in the high school I teach biology to Year 9. The students manage to make me laugh everyday, whether it be from the boys showing off their newly learn break-dancing moves to watching them chase chickens out of the classroom. Resources are very limited. We were given a teachers guide for each subject and the rest was up to us.
The unpredictability of every situation definitely keeps my volunteer partners and I entertained. One day you’ll find a live goat has barged its way into your hut and the next you will be sitting in a field surrounded by wild elephants!! Traveling anywhere is quite an adventure. You know on cartoons when they have heaps of people pile out of a little clown car? Yeah, that actually happens here. We once fitted 12 people in to a small 5-seater car! And you never know when you will arrive at your destination – it could be 20 minuets, it could be 2 hours. Our minibus will often pull over to the side of the road and just sit there while the driver does his shopping…
We love our little mud hut. There’s no running water or electricity but we wouldn’t ask for it any other way because it is all a part of experiencing a third world country!! Lighting a charcoal burner has got to be one of the most frustrating things, but after a month of struggling and opting for a loaf of bread for dinner instead, we finally figured out how to do it. We eat rice for pretty much every meal and occasionally the traditional food called nsima (made from maize flour and water) which is plain tasting and has no nutritional value but is tasty with tomato, onion and egg relish. Good food is probably the one western luxury I miss from Australia. Pizza… lasagna… curry….chocolate….
We cant believe how fast the months fly by here and I cant wait to discover what the remaining months in Malawi hold for us!!