Posts Tagged With: Christmas

Thank you Kelly & Aline – Christmas Special

The past 4 weeks of the Breakfast Club were sponsored my good friends Kelly and Aline.

I was away over Christmas and New Year to visit my family. So in fact there was only 1 sitting. Hence, with the help of Emily, we put on a good feast!

For most Malawians, the staple diet is “nsima“, which is a heavy carbohydrate made from maize flour. Rice is an annual treat served at Christmas! So we’re very happy that thanks to our friends who sponsor each week, we can give 20-25 kids not only rice, but also meat, milk and fruits. We just wouldn’t be able to fund it all from our volunteer’s living allowance.

To make the Christmas meal extra special, we prepared extra rice and 2 meats, instead of the normal 1: Fried chicken drumsticks and minced beef, along with the usual milk and fruit, and chocolate brownies!

My usual 3 helpers (3 oldest, most responsible kids) were at the International Youth Fellowship Youth Camp in Salima. So it was a bit chaotic, especially in the kitchen. Which made Emily’s help invaluable. Thank you Emily!

Different set of helpers in the kitchen.

Different set of helpers in the kitchen.

No Christmas tree... but paper chains are better anyway.

No Christmas tree… but paper chains are better anyway.

Classroom looking great!

Classroom looking great!

Hmmm... chocolate brownies!

Hmmm… chocolate brownies!

There’s more… with the extra sponsorship money from providing 1 better meal instead of 4 normal meals, we were able to buy presents for the kids, which were handed out a few days later:-

  • Personalised pouch bag
  • Personalised cup for milk every week
  • Personalised key fob / dog-tag with their names carved; Some kids cannot spell their name so hopefully this will help
  • Clipboards for class every Thursday afternoon; They always struggle to have something to place their paper on
  • Notepads, pens, pencils, erasers and stationery
  • Toy cars and balloons for the younger kids
  • Hand-knitted beanie hats all the way from Denmark – Thank you Irene!
The goodies. Sorry Robin, for taking up all the space on the dining table.

The goodies. Sorry Robin, for taking up all the space on the dining table.

The goodie bags. Sorry Robin, for taking up the couch too!

The goodie bags. Sorry Robin, for taking up the couch too!

The bags took ages to pack. I spent much longer packing the goodie bags than my own baggage for vacation. Even resorting to creating a spreadsheet to make sure all 35 kids had the appropriate items. Of course, it was all worth it to see them smiling and happy; Being kids.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Categories: Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | Leave a comment

“Ho ho ho. Now I have a machine gun.”

Merry Christmas everyone!

I am currently on vacation in Tanzania and having a few too many misadventures since leaving Lilongwe last Tuesday. I will post about those experiences when I return to Malawi. Along with some pictures of Tanzania.

The normal UK sleet and snow has been replaced by a beaming sun very hot sand beneath my feet. As I lounge on the beaches of Zanzibar, (very slowly) reading Daniel Defoe’s classic novel, Robinson Crusoe, Christmas seems like a very strange concept.

Fear not though. Where there are mzungus, there is Christmas! As we had dinner last night at Mustapha’s Place, we had a selection of the best crimbo music. The Pogues, Mariah Carey, Slade but alas, no Wham… yet! This morning, my friends here (volunteers and expats from Zambia) opened their various presents and cards over breakfast. There is great fun spirit with our group. Now all we need are the two best Christmas films ever. Home Alone and Die Hard! Hence the post title.

The picturesque views of Zanzibar is truly stunning. However, I find myself missing Malawi and most of all, my close friends (especially the inconsiderate ones who have had babies since I’ve UK!) and of course, both my Chinese and Northern Irish families. For me, that’s what all festivities and holidays are about.

The very best festive wishes to you all, which ever religion you may belong to.

As always, I will reserve the happy new year wishes to the real new year, which is of course, Chinese new year 🙂

Categories: Malawi, Travel, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

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