Monday, March 19, 2007

Catching up on yesterday's blog

The last of the photos received by e-mail from Matt a week or so back.
"This is of me and Joe Nyauti (a teacher at the school) inside a Nyasaland bus on a visit to the surprisingly excellent little museum in Chichiri"
Other news from the same e-mail:
" School is going well, even if it does knacker me out. All the ideas about travelling and instilling loads of new ideas into this place have faded little by little. This is not however negative in any way. It's just that holding everything in place, all the housework, schoolwork and bits of socialising fill more time than I have. This is fine though and it means I'm learning about a lot more than just Africa I can tell you.
"We've just had mid-term tests at school which meant composing tests for seven subjects and now marking several hundred papers. Also, as I'm a class-teacher for 4A, I have to compile their results for all subjects and then put them in a big neat box for the exams officer. I am going to fall into a deep sleep that will last a month when I come back.
"Which reminds me - I will have been gone from England six months tomorrow; and the day after that I will have been in Malawi six months - over half our stay as we're coming back on August 18th.
"Has life been bearable without me? I wonder if this place has changed me and if it will be noticeable back in Europe?"
Now I have a long letter from Matt, and more photos and various drawings done by his pupils to scour through. All of which I shall leave for the next few postings!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Trying to get up to date!

(Maybe I'm getting the hang of this now!. ) Matt's comment on this snapshot is:
'This is of Donal and me sitting on a fallen tree over a pool of a waterfall near Chimoio, Mozambique.' (A trip they made over Christmas, I think!) 'The woman who ran The Pink Paiya - the backpackers' place we were staying in - took us on this daytrip up to these huge hills. It was really good to see so many trees. Unfortunately Malawi suffers greatly from deforestation.'
In a later e-mail, Matt adds:
"That photo" (one I had put down to being taken in Liwonde National Park - though uncertain at the time) is actually of a nusery near the house that I have been buying flowers and herbs from." Another photo, actually of Liwonde, "the one with the stream and the two canoes" hasn't surfaced yet. Referring to it, though: "Samuel and I went on a canoe safari. It was really something. We must have seen over a hundread hippos - one even chased us in a rather exciting/terrifying moment. Even a crocodile swam past us. As it was the rainy season most of the other animals were hiding in the bush though. I shall have to go back in the dry season, why did you never tell how much it rains in Africa? it's ridiculous. Anyway I have attached a few more photos, one I thought I had sent with Joseph "the soldier" from 3b. One is of me holding a birthday greeting to Matt Stoffel, slighty off topic for the blog but it is a good picture of the kids, and I can't remember what the other one's of."

The e-mail finishes: "I am really in a great mood today - when I am with the teachers and especially the kids at school i feel very happy, and, when they are behaving, incredibly relaxed also. "
I now have loads of photos, pupils' drawings and a long letter to transpose! Next post - and a few posts after, I guess!

Filling in the gaps!

There's much catching up to be done - many photos to be got onto the page, but this post seems willing only to take three!
The first, as far as I can make out from Matt's letter, is of Liwonde National Park - though it looks more like my son doing a bit of gardening somewhere. The second is of "a filthy cockroach", should anyone need telling; and the third (a snap that should have been posted months ago) of Donal, Matt's mate from Project Trust, and a friend whose name I was given, but can't find the letter to confirm.
(You'll see that this blog is at the mercy of many things, mostly to do with my inability to get the technology in line with my memory and organisation. Now, however, with the arrival by post of much more information, I may in the near future be able to lay the site out with more assurance! - Greg - Matt's dad.)