My time volunteering
When you arrive you are told what your role is. You think "I can never do this, please can I go home?
But then a light dawns and you realise that you can do it and the most marvellous adventures unfold.
Asked to teach English I protest that I am not an English teacher.
The response? You speak English don't you? So just do it.
The impact of my placement
Straightforward teaching in African Secondary School. If teaching can ever be straightforward.
When I left pupils composed a song for me. "Mr Yates, don't forget us. We will see you back again. Never be sorry our dear teacher . We will see you back again.
My unforgettable moments
The celebration dinner when I left. My favourite meal which was British Colonial Curry. Best beef in a very mild curry sauce with rice, banana and raisins. Taking a school party down to Lake Malawi and teaching several girls to swim in a day. They had never seen the lake before! The breathtaking beauty of lakeside villages backed by the mountains of the Vipya. Communities only accessible by lake steamer.
The impact my placement has had on me
Immensely. We worry if economic growth changes by half a percent. Malawi remains steadfastly marooned as one of the poorest countries in the world. But happy, smiling faces greeted you by the roadside. Dancing and singing everywhere.
Mzuzu Secondary School