Blog Entry #6

The first week of Sport Malawi 2016 really has been quite the experience, with everyone settling in nicely here at Falls Baptist, our base for the next few weeks.

However, for two of our team members it wasn’t such a happy arrival in Lilongwe. Unfortunately our connection flight from Nairobi lead to three of our 34 bags to be left behind, two of which were the personal suitcases of the Sport Malawi team (including myself). Thankfully the team were there to lend a hand in our hour of need, supplying myself and Hannah Barnes with clothes, toiletries, etc. Luckily all three of the bags were brought to Lilongwe the very next day (first crisis overcome).

The team has gelled well during our time together however these new found friendships were put to the test by a ‘team building’ sports day that was dreamt up by Lauren C and Zoe. It was only going to go one way with 17 highly competitive sports students, with any possible advantage being fully utilised (whether it be in the rules or not), e.g Ben M giving myself a cheeky push in the Tick Tack Toe relay.

To be honest, the outreach workshop didn’t exactly start according to plan. Apparently there was a miscommunication for when the workshop would start which lead to none of the participants not actually turning up for the first day. This therefore meant that Ben van Driel and the rest of the outreach team had to completely reschedule the 4 day workshop into just 3 days. But somehow they pulled it off, and in some style, sharing educational experiences about how to use sport to engage and mentor young people. The Malawian participants were delighted as they received their certificates, with pictures and conversations being shared between the team our Malawian friends. The day was then finished off with a football match… UK vs Malawi, which ended as a 2-2 draw.

A big part of the teams daily routine is the group workouts, with PT Nick. I know that I speak on behalf of the entire group when I say that these workouts are no walk in the park… Nick may need a dunking in the lake at the end of the month.

The team have also managed to accidentally start an after school club for the local kids. Playing with colouring books, tennis balls, Caleb’s American football and of course a few games of football.

All the dinners have been up to scratch so far (mince and rice never tasted so good), with the added bonus of a couple cakes for Lauren C’s birthday. Cooking and cleaning responsibilities are being shared between everyone, with only one team member managing to slip out of their shift so far… You know who you are.

Collectively the team already has captured hundreds, maybe even thousands, of photos both in and out of the workshops. We hope to post some of them on our Twitter page and in the website gallery. However the Internet is rather temperamental in Malawi so don’t be surprised if this turns out to be untrue. However, the team will post plenty of photos once they have returned to the UK.

Everyone has settled in here at Falls Baptist and are all happy and well, looking forward to the rest of the workshops.