It has been another few days of highs and lows, meeting the most wonderful inspirational people along the way. On Friday we visited the Women’s Development Centre, the centre helps widows by teaching them skills such as sewing and looks after approx 50 orphans, five of which are child headed families. Bernadette left money the previous week so they could organise a party which we attended on the Friday. The children were very happy because apart from Christmas this is the only other time they eat meat.The women who run the centre are volunteers and I was humbled by their faith, care, compassion and commitment. After they had eaten they sang songs for us, did nearly lose it at this point, and each recited their favourite Bible verse. We gave them all a gift of a balloon, lollipop and pen, pencil or small toy depending on their age. At the end of the party Bernadette threw a large frisbee into the air and the madness commenced. I donated £50 on behalf of Largs Academy.
Saturday was Amos’ ordination. This was obviously my first experience of an ordination in Malawi and I was pleasantly surprised to see both traditions gel together. Amos was in a hut with his mum and dad to begin with and when he was called his mum and dad brought him to the Bishop. This was done in true Malawian style with all the singing and dancing. There was so much going on that I don’t know where to begin and end with it however it did not feel as if we had been there for 3 and half hours. I had spent time with Amos while here and felt very privileged to be part of his special day.
On Monday we visited the Mary Martha Centre where again money has been left to organise a party. As it was a school day there was only about 100 children, on a Saturday there is over 400. The highest percentage of children here are orphans because their parents have died of Aids and unfortunately they have also been infected. During conversation Rodrick, founder of the centre, said one of his main priorities was to buy 3 bikes so they could travel into town to get medicine or to take someone in to the doctor, the centre is remote as it serves a widespread village. I still had donation money from Largs Academy so I thought the staff would be pleased to know that I donated a bike on their behalf. After they had eaten and sung us songs, not a dry eye in the house, I was invited for a game of netball. Not played since school but thought I would have a go anyway, maybe not the best idea as they ran rings round me but all good fun.
Malawi is called the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ and it is easy to see why, this truly is an extraordinary country with extraordinary people who have welcomed me into their homes and their hearts.
I will be sad to leave however there are 5 wee faces I am missing very much…watch out Liam and Halle granny’s kissy train will be home soon xxxxx