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17 October 2014

Ileachs2Malawi


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Flying Home

While we're writing this we're sitting in a cafe waiting for a meal in Nairobi airport. Our start to the day was a little hectic as the bus we hired didn't show up be we managed to get a different one instead. We had no problems checking in at the airport in Lilongwe and our flight went fine.

However now that we're in Nairobi we face the problem of the 6 hour waiting time for our next flight. This would be a lot worse if it wasn't for the fact that quite a few of us have bought the new Harry Potter book (and cheaper than it could've been.) So we're all just waiting for the flight that'll take us back in to Europe and we're all excited about the thought that we'll actually be home tommorrow. Lets just hope we've been sat near to each other on the upcoming flights.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 17:38



The End is Near

Well this is it. Hard to believe that this is the last full day we will spend in Malawi. We're back in Mabuya Camp having finished our Safari yesterday and we all can't wait to start the journey back (despite the fact that we're going to have to spend 10 hours in Nairobi between flights).

But how did the Safari go? It was great. On the first day we went out in the morning in two jeeps, one was meant to follow the other but that didn't really happen. Initially we saw the more common animals like the various species of Antelope as well as some Hippos and Elephants. However we weren't out for long when we got a call over the radio to say that one of the other groups who were there had found a Leopard. Our jeep sped off with us calling to the other one to follow us as they didn't know what was going on. Wen we got there we couldn't initially see the Leopard but once we got closer we found it in a depression in the ground. We think it had been trying to hunt something but the six or so jeeps surrounding it kind of spoiled that. We followed it for as long as we could until it stalked off into a thicket that we couldn't drive through. We returned to the camp and got ready for our later drive.

We went out again later on in the day as it was getting dark because it meant different animals would be coming out. Once again we were treated to the same sights initially but things picked up when we started to see a few new thing like Gennets (small cats). We were in for a treat again as we spotted a couple of Lion cubs hiding in a bush. Unfortunately we couldn't really see them properly from where we were and we couldn't get any closer. However that wasn't the end of our Lion spoting. We found two female Lions and a cub sitting out in the open waiting for it to get dark. Quite a lot of time was spent watching them but it was well worth it for the photos. After it had gotten properly dark and we were using a spot-light to look for things we were greeted by another surprise. Two male Lions emerged from a hiding place and we spent a while following them and getting more great pictures. It wasn't too much later that we had to return to our camp but it had been a great night.

The next morning was similar to the previous one with us setting off in our jeeps and initially seeing a lot of Hippos and other things. Unfortunate we didn't see anythigng spectacular in the morning (however we did spend a while looking fr a Leopard that we though was somewhere close) though we still enjoyed ourselves.

The night run was just as enjoyable as the mroning one had been with los of animals but nothing particualrily rare. However one group did get a surprise when they has stopped to look at a Hyena and an Elephant suddenly walked out of a bush right beside them, they were pretty sure that it was going to do something about them but it didn't do anything more than complain a little.

After two short days of Safari in Zambia we're back in Lilongwe and are currently just waiting to go out for our last meal. There'll still be another post from us when we get back with all the photos and probably a couple of videos as well. Until then wish us luck with our numerous flights.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 16:35



Massive Update

Well it's been ages since we last updated but this is the first chance we have had. Since we last updated we have finished our community project and had a leaving party with the locals at the school which involved both us and them singing songs and dancing.

After we Mtunthama we travelled to Mulanje mountain where we spent six days trekking to various huts where we'd camp each night. We even climbed the tallest peak which is called Sipitwa -literally mean "don't go there in english"- and is roughly 3000m above sea level. The photos are fantastic and although we still can't upload them at the moment they will definately be up eventually.

It was a very tired group that descended from the mountain but we were all really happy with what we had achieved. With the hardest part of the trip out of the way we headed to our next destination which was an island called Domwe Island which is just off of Cape Mclear. Getting to the island involved a relatively short trip which saw us paddling along in kayaks with two of us in each boat. Ah but the island itself. We thought we'd be camping again which we was fine with us but it turned out that we were being given cloth hut-like things that had beds in them! We spent a whole day on the island during which we were doing such arduous tasks as snorkeling and swimming.

We left the island two nights after our initial arrival and after camping on night we got taken back to Lilongwe. We're currently back in Mabuya Camp and tommorrow we're leaving for the final stage of the trip which is the safari in Zambia. We're all pretty excited about this as we've been looking forward to it since we got here. We're not sure exactly what we'll see but we hope that at some point we'll see the members of the big 5.

I'm not sure when we'll next be able to update though it'll probably be after the safari. Everyone has been really glad to see the messages and we're all mssing home.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 20:12



Project Week - All Saints Secondary School

Well we have now been here for a full week. Unfortunately we still cannot upload photos but we are working on that. This week we have been working on our community project with All Saints Secondary School and St Andrews Hospital in Mtunthama.

We have been doing various jobs through the week including construction, helping out at the hospital, teaching the students and helping re-paint the sign at the entrance. While we stay here we have been given a house which is a great luxury though we're still sleeping in tents to avoid the mosquitos.

Our most important contribution has been to the construction of the science laboratory. Not only have we been helping to build it but we have also been using our project money to help pay for things like cement and bricks.

So far the group has managed to get by without loosing or breaking any equipment which is a good start and if we keep it up for the other three quaters of the trip that'll be great.

Hello Diane its your son here. Hope all is well at home including my fishing rod. I have not been bitten by any mozzies yet.
PS Remember Hebridean chicken for when I come back. Love Calum x

Kim has a special request for her Mum and Dad that they make her Hebridian Chicken, Kerrs Pinks potatoes and lots of sweetcorn for when she gets home.

Its Woo here, just to say to my family hope you are all well, that Im fine, not sunburnt and losing weight YES! Hopefully I'll get to phone you soon. love u lots xxx

Its Bryony, miss you all lots, im not sunburnt but its very hot. Catriona I need nigellas for when i get back. Miss you, Love you Dad xxxxxx

Hi Mum, Dad, Steph, Gran and Grandpa, hope you are all well, its great here. We are all having fun. See you soon. xxx
To Eilidh, me, laura and frazer miss your banter. hope the caravan is still standing. love us.oh aye say hi to neil xx

hi mum dad n soph miss you all sooo much gonna miss you on the 5th having a brill time tho hope the caravan is all well n that your lookin after marty!!!! hope you are takin the dogs you lazy buggers!!! love you all lots n lots xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hello, how you getting on it Frazer Malbuya here. Having A great time and great tan. Touch wood. Dont miss me too much..xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi Mum it's Lewis. I hope you've not let my room out. I bet you have. It's been a week and I'm not sunburt - it must be some kind of miracle. I bet the house is really tidy and quiet without me. See you soon. Remember to tape the Grand Prix for me. xx

It's Sarah here, weather is great getting a bit of a tan, it's awesome! Seen the biggest spider ever yesterday almost had a heart attack! Hope all is well at home, miss you all. Love Sarah xxxxxxxx

Hi, it's Sandy here, having a great time and the weather is fantastic. Hope you're having fun in Spain and that you avoided the hullaballoo in the airport. Don't worry, I've been wearing suncream and have taken lots of photos! See you soon xx

Hi Mum and Dad. I can't remember whether you're in Orkney or not yet but if you are I hope you're having a good time looking at piles of rocks and if you're not then I hope you have a safe trip there. The mess in the airport in Glasgow shouldn't affect you so everything'll be fine. I really hope you have something good cooking for when I get back. See you soon Mum and not so soon Dad,
Alasdair xx
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 15:40



First full Day in Malawi

We got up at seven this morning in our tents and the sun was already up and beating down on us. After eating breakfast and having showers half the group left to buy us some food, they're still gone... Today we're going to Mthumthana School to start our project though that can wait until after we take advatage of the volley ball net.

The camp we're staying at is called Mabuya Camp and the website for it can be found at so you can all have a look at where we're staying and be jealous of how great it is here :P

We'll upload some photos as soon as we can figure out how to make the computer pick up the camera. Until then you'll just have to wait.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 09:53



Arrival in Amsterdam

We have just arrived in Amerstdam airport. We're currently just hanging around, doing a bit of shopping and getting something to eat while we wait for our next flight to take us to Nairobi. The flight from Glasgow was smoothe enough though there were a few problems at the check-in with the desks opening at unexpected times and trying to figure out how you check in 14 people who are all going to multiple destinations simulataneously but it all worked out fine in the end.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 16:08



Answers to questions

I'll try my best to answer the questions people have asked when commenting on the previous post. Fisrt of all why Malawi? Well firstly Malawi has very close ties with Scotland and it is also not considered a tourist destination. Secondly as far as I know there will not be any kids from Malawi coming to Islay, at least, not as a direct response to this trip. To answer the final question, yes part of our expedition will involve humanitarian work though that will only be a single stage in the whole thing. For the work we will be going to Mthumthana School as well as the St Andrews Clinic. While we are at these locations we will do our best to help out in any way possible.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 23:23



Introduction

Hello. This is the blog created for Islay High School's expedition to Malawi in 2007. Here we will be posting our thoughts and feelings when we can while we are in Malawi and after we return we will upload all the photos that we can. Each of the pupils on the expidition will probably be posting their own more perosnal impressions along with the general group posts that are made.
Posted on Ileachs2Malawi at 10:41





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