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#MalawiMonday, A Volunteer Experience- Part 2 (Not on a Monday)

We don’t need Monday’s to share some love with you #LovePixies, we don’t need Mondays to continue telling you about our journey on our most recent trip to Malawi.

That’s why we are coming at you on a Wednesday of all days! So where were we? Ah yes, day4. . . .

Day 4-6

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So we made our way to Lake Malawi, by our little island standards, the journey was a little long, 6 hours to be exact. However, when we arrived, I can’t even truly express how naturally beautiful it is. We pulled up to Kande Horse Ranch, greeted by the 8 majestic horses that reside there, along with the amazing staff. We were packed straight off to the beach to enjoy one last dip before sunset. We had the pleasure of watching the sun go down and it was a spiritual experience, to say the least. It felt like I had stepped out of an Instagram travel page. White/golden sands, crystal clear water and a fiery sunset to match the colours of Malawian culture. The whole weekend was incredible, particularly the horse riding. I had never ridden before and I am told time and time again by avid rides that I had a really magical experience but riding a horse on a beach and then having the chance to ride with them in the water- bareback! The horses were so playful and sweet, if they were not munching their fair share of grass of course! Pair this experience with the amazing food and snorkeling, safe to say, this little 2 day get away was true paradise. If you are having any mid-week blues, check out the Instagram page for Kande Horse for some summer vibes where ever you are.

Day 7

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By 7.30 Monday morning, we back at the breakfast table at Mabuya Camp talking about the events of the weekend. Day 7 was to be a day of discovering how incredible baby massage is. It’s not just a skill, it is a source of empowerment for the women in the many different communities where it’s been introduced. The brain behind this is Gayle Berry of Blossom & Berry Baby Massage and Yoga, Gayle started her own division of the charity to help women grow their skill set and be their own providers with “Little Blossoms Malawi Project”. The first women’s enterprise group we went too really struck a cord with me; firstly we were greeted with a traditional dance and sing of course, I walk into a room now and I do get a little sad if people don’t sing to me but hey ho, I will have the memories of Malawi for that. We had been told that Gayle rents a room in this community which provides regular capital, it also provides a safe space for the ladies to gather. However, the children at this particular school all suffered with HIV. I was moved my this but not because it was like the images of Africa I had seen before by other charities but because these children were full of life and light. No matter what setbacks you have in life, a lot can be said for laughter, these children were so happy and it deeply humbled me. We visited 4 groups that day and all the women could unite in friendship through baby massage, together they also sell products at market. Your incredible donations back home gave us the amazing opportunity to hand these women some new stock to sell, baby clothes, toys and other treasures that will bring these women vital revenue to support their families and grow their business. The last women’s enterprise group we visited has a bread oven, this is the same principle, it provides them with a product to sell. Thanks to Wiseman (our local business manager- you will be learning all about him in an upcoming blog) taught the women how to manage funds, take turnover, cover costs and save for a rainy day, simple concepts that these women learned to help them survive and become sustainable long term!

Day 8

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Our final day was a total whirl wind of emotions. I said to the guys before the trip, you show me a puppy or a baby and I will loose it! The truth is, when it actually came to it, the ore of the experience took over. Day 8 was the day we visited the baby orphanage. We were told that the orphanage we were visiting was excellent compared with how some children have to grow up, that this baby orphanage and Tilinanu for example, were wonderful. It’s sad for 2 reasons, firstly the reasons why some families have to make the heart-wrenching decision to give up a child- normally due to lack of funds but also the fact that what must it be like for some little ones who live in the more deprived homes. The baby orphanage that we visited was clean and well kept, one thing was very evident immediately, the carers love those babies. They delicately handed us the babies to play with, bond and simply have a little human to human contact. Not being a maternal gal myself, I was surprised by how overcome I was with love. I instantly became drawn to one little boy- he was adorable, he sat on my knee as looked around and then looked at me, for about half an hour we stared at each other and made a deep connection that transcended. Let’s be honest, there isn’t anything quite like cuddles with a little baby! I left feeling overwhelmed with love for every child there. Good thing we headed for Tili next! The amazing Sophie from Junkyard Golf Club was busy building a mini crazy golf course and it was coming together nicely. What a top idea and a wonderful donation for the guys at the club, the learn laugh and play is so deeply important and this mini course would surely inspire that! We spent our last blissful afternoon playing and learning with the girls. It was a really moving and enlightening experience. These girls are so bright and should have the world at their feet. I only hope that we can do as much as we can to give them all the skills and open all the doors that they need. They gave us the best goodbye we could wish for. They sung us out with a mix of local traditional Malawian music with the likes of James Bay, Molly and a few more hits. It was awesome!

The next day was home time. The whole flight back was a reflection period of all the amazing things I had learned and all that I had seen. I was inspired and full of love. I know that working for Love Support Unite is a calling and a genuine labor of love. I can’t wait to see what next year brings and to watch them grow and see how they can continue helping the communities become sustainable. Their unique brand of “charity” places the skill and the worth on the locals, only showing them the way, they must work for themselves. That is how you will truly inspire a community to grow.

So, what do you guys think? Have we got you excited about our next trip? Maybe feeling that twinge of excitement and desire to know more? Well click this link and head to our “Volunteer with us” page. We are an open book at Love Support Unite and Love Specs. Ask us anything and we will answer with an open heart and an open mind. Join us and be part of the change.

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