The Last Post

We find ourselves in Kasungu for an overnight between the stay at Nkhata Bay (the lake) and Lilongwe Airport, as a staging post in our homeward travel. It’s hard to believe that this is our final night in Malawi after an action packed, truly exhausting, series of encounters, tasks and labours.

People can be so scathing these days about the attitudes, resilience and habits of young people but that lazy stereotyping could not be farther from work ethic, energy and engagement of our St. Benedict’s Malawi Team. They have attacked every experience, every challenge and every task with generosity and enthusiasm – every person who enconters them speaks to us of how impressed they are with their attitude, application and respect. In every respect they have been a credit to themselves, their families and St. Benedict’s and it has been a joy to accompany them on their extraordinary journey of discovery  and self-giving. They have not hesitated to embark on this journey that has required them to face extraordinary poverty, deprivation and disadvantage while knowing that they could only offer relatively little with limited time and resources and that they would soon return to their own relative abundance. That is a tough equation to resolve for young people with their strong sense of justice and idealism, they want to offer much and the limits can be frustrating!

We are content, however, that we have encouraged them to embark on a journey that has, and will continue to, help them change and grow; in small ways perhaps – such as in their consumption and culture of disposability; in larger ways perhaps such as in life choice or in career direction; this is an enormous priviledge for us who have sought to guide and protect these two weeks. What their future holds we know not, much less do we control, but we know that as this journey ends another, no less exciting, has begun – it is the journey within, the journey to know themselves well so as to empower and give agency to others, no matter how constrained those circumstances.  My prayer and hope is that it is truly no less exhilarating, challenging and fulfilling than their first African adventure in Malawi.

Fr. Michael

Monire Mose

Just a few words to sign off for this trip.  We could not have picked a better group to relaunch the partnership.  They have done us all proud and I hope they maintain the generous spirit they have displayed in Malawi when faced with teenage challenges at home.  I’m excited to work with them during S6 to continue to develop the partnership.  Leaving Malawi is always sad but we have the return visit to look forward to in March when we will welcome four students and two staff to Scotland and St Beneduct’s.

Thanks to all of you for your support and prayers.

Yewo chomene,


A day at the lake by the kids

This morning I woke up still absolutely traumatized from the previous night- we spent the evening wandering around our hotel but I was feeling tired so decided to go to bed first before anybody else. As soon as I had tucked in my mosquito net and had laid down on my pillow I could hear something fluttering around me- I turned on my phone torch and saw what looked like a moth, however as I approached it closer I noticed that it was much bigger than an average moth and that it was in fact A BAT. I tried to stay calm but then I noticed that there was actually TWO bats and they started flapping about my mosquito net and I audibly screamed (not even being dramatic). I was on the top bunk so I couldn’t exactly jump down to leave the room, and was scared that the bats would eat me or something so I just stayed put and just sat there crying until somebody came back. After about twenty minutes or so I heard everyone else outside so I began yelling, informing them that there were bats in our room- at first they laughed and thought I was joking, but when they opened the door everybody else panicked as much as I did. Grace and Keira hid under my mosquito net while the boys went to their room next door to give us extra pillows and duvets which was very kind of them since the bats had literally left their droppings all over the room. The next morning we had to go to reception to change rooms in case there was some sort of infestation, but now I have a nice big room with an ever better view so something good did come out of the situation in the end. Every time I see or hear a bat floating around us I get literal flashbacks and don’t think I can ever look at one again so please show your deepest condolences in the comments. – Ava

Before lunch we took a wander down to the street stalls encompassing the road to our resort. We weren’t allowed to buy anything on the way down so we just had a gander of the merchandise scattered in the stalls. Me and Jemma were yonks behind everyone else as the men at the stalls refused to let us leave without arguing for ages about buying something. I promised most of the vendors to buy something on the way back and i did from most of them. There was a beautiful bracelet at the first stall that the man said was 10,000 kwacha and i was giddy at the price so i told him to reserve it for me but by the time i made my way back to his stall on the way home he tried to tell me 35,000 and i only had a few thousand left so i asked for it in pounds and he tried to tell me 50 but it would have exchanged to 17.50 so i told him i only had 15 and he let me have it. The same guy also tried to scam Jemma with a gargantuan price increase but i think she managed to talk it down (she didn’t) – McGeezer

This past week has been very different to what i expected, although i knew it would have a strong impact on my life i never expected it to affect me this much. I have made bonds with people I have spent 5 years in school with and otherwise wouldn’t have become as close too which I am extremely grateful for but it has also opened my eyes to things I would have never noticed or thought about before. It gave me an insight into what i actually want to do with the rest of my life, at the start of the week i was set on going to university and doing law but now i would like to move to somewhere like malawi or stay in scotland and work with younger people who might not have had the same opportunities as me. I have also noticed the ignorance I had before coming on this trip like wasting food or money and complaining about small things. These are all reasons why i believe this has been the best 2 weeks of my life and i will be forever grateful for it and everyone that helped me to be able to come here and supported me to be able to have this experience as i really believe that if you have the chance to come here or anywhere like this you should. – Keira !!!

If I’m being entirely honest I did not think this trip would impact me as much as it has. I have genuinely learned so much and my perspective of everything has definitely been permanently altered for good. I could not be more grateful i was fortunate enough to experience something like this. I can safely say I would 100% come back and do this again – that’s not to say this trip was easy from beginning to end because it wasn’t but every moment good or bad was important. Anyways a monkey tried to steal Trinity’s shoe at breakfast, and there’s a calico cat at the restaurant that always looks angry all the time but it always comes up and sleeps next to us. When we returned back to the resort after visiting some stalls (where i got scammed (again)) we had lunch and i got a burger but it was huge, like massive and hence hard to eat, but it was still really tasty, the rest of the day was calm, we played hangman in some sand with a stick and trinity got mad i guessed the movie after one letter but she was just jealous of my amazing skills. We watched the sunset and it was beautiful as it always is here, it was a very nice last day and i’m sad the trip is ending so soon but i can’t wait to go home to see my family and tell everyone everything that’s happened. 

– Jemma :))

Hey fellas Aidan speaking. It’s been great. 

  • Lots of love Aidan James McGowan xxx. (Aaron S Rai is extremely talented so send him some love in the comments, slay queen)

Hello people, your favorite S6 sent to Malawi Aaron S. Rai is now typing. I would like to send some thanks to Aidan and all his nice words about me. I see everyone else has written lots for their section but it’s my summer holidays now and i aint doing a lot of work so I will just agree and say the lake is very fun and enjoyable. Malawi was a great experience and I expect my sister India to come when she gets the chance just so she can buy me gifts. I got a talking frog toy for some of my socks 🙂

Sincerely, your deputy head boy (not Cole McNally) Aaron S Rai.


Friday 28th June by Ava Wilkie

Hello everyone, it’s Ava here, saved the best for last of course. I am writing to you from the comfort of the beautiful Lake Malawi as we have finally arrived! I was very relieved that this would be the last morning we would have to wake up for a mass at 5am and listen to the cockerals screaming 24/7. The gigantic tarantula from the other night was gone when we woke up and I know for a fact that it won’t be missed by anyone. This morning was still very bittersweet as we had to say goodbye to all of the people in Rumphi such as the boys we have made friends with and the staff that have taken care of us over the last week so it was very emotional- despite not having much, some of the boys were determined to give me something to take away with me whether it be something such as a lollipop or a bracelet. They apologised for it being so small but to me it meant so much and it touched my heart that they would even think to give me something. I lowkey cried on the bus over here but I’m happy to have so many pictures with everyone to remember this trip. 

     The mini bus ride was still as brutal as always, but there wasn’t as many near death experiences as Ms McFadden gave the driver a firm talking to before we set off so it was not as bad as it had previously been, but it was still as bumpy and painful so I now have another fat bruise on my leg. The hotel we are staying that is absolutely stunning, however it is NOT practical at all for carrying suitcases as the steps are very huge and steep so I was fearing for my life walking up and down them. I was offered help by one of the workers, but I wanted to prove that I was a strong, independent young woman and could do it myself but definitely regretted it once I actually started carrying them but at least I proved myself right.

     We made it to the lake around late morning, so we had some time to roam the area once we had arrived. Once I had unpacked, I sat outside on the balcony trying to tan while I read my book and it was so beautiful, however at one point I felt something run across my feet, and I thought it was just a bug which I was used to at this point but it was actually in fact, a massive lizard. I got the fright of my life and actually had to clamp a hand over my mouth to stop myself from screaming. There are hundreds of lizards around here but I won’t complain because they eat all of the mosquitos (doing God’s work for real).

     Ms McFadden and Father Michael took those of us who wanted to go out into town to explore the local stalls and supermarkets. It is a lot hotter over here than it is in Rumphi and so I almost died with the heat because of how many hills there was to get into the town. The hotel has a lot of trained guard dogs, so two of them followed us all the way there and back and even sat with us while we stopped for rest. We aren’t supposed to touch them in case we get diseased but the dogs were so cute and so it was very hard not to pet them and I had to physically restrain myself. On the walk down, a large group of children excitedly ran over and began to hug us and shake our hands which I thought was adorable, but this wasn’t even the first time that had happened. We stopped off at a cafe to cool down before going back to the villa and I had a bottle of my beloved cherry plum drink, which I will miss dearly when we return from Scotland- even the thought of having to leave it behind brings tears to my eyes. I got a couple of gifts for my loved ones while we were out, but tomorrow we will be going to spend our money and bargain with the people who run the stalls and make trades which will be fun and I am looking forward to it. Aidan and Aaron bought matching red cowboy hats which were literally iconic and I was very close to buying one myself but I pictured my mum’s face as I strutted through the airport wearing it and thought, better not. 

     Once we returned from being out, we went to the restaurant at our hotel to get some lunch and I was absolutely starving, so practically inhaled a plate of falafels before going outside to sit in a beautiful, shaded area to hide out from the heat and write this blog. I ended up meeting this young woman called Rafaela who was from the French districts in Canada and she was over here doing work with an educational programme and we sat out there while watching the beautiful sunset, talking about life and what we had been up to in Malawi, so it was very nice to share my experience with somebody else. She also imparted a lot of knowledge and wisdom from her own life and so speaking to her felt very worthwhile and did not feel like hours at all, so as you can probably imagine, no blog writing got done in this time.

     I’m sitting on our balcony typing this up while everybody chats and enjoys themselves around me so the vibes are literally amazing right now and I feel like I could stay here forever. I’m absolutely buzzing for my mocktail in front of the lake at dinner, and if dinner is anything like my lunch then I can’t wait- the menu is very big and I wish there was more time to try everything. Today’s blog was not as exciting as the previous days as it was not very eventful but I didn’t mind at all, it has been so lovely to just relax after such a busy trip and I am so grateful for this time to chill out before the long journey home and of course I still found plenty to yap about. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I look forward to seeing everybody when we return home.

Thursday 27th June by Trinity McGee

Last night we had just rushed home to get early to sleep as we had been getting up at 5 for nearly a week and thursday was supposed to be the busiest day when me and three of us other gals walked into jemma’s room when we looked to the wall beside her bed and suddenly everyone screamed and ran out of the room. Jemma stood on a chair in a comletely different room. It was a massive, humungous, obese tarantula with 1000 aura that looked like it ate goats for dinner-like the gruffalo. Thankfully Grace was our mesiah and valiently gassed it alive before respectfully crushing it to death. After that i wasnt entirely sure i wouldnt be eaten by a desert invertebrae.

We started the next day with a goodbye graduation for the boys which made me sad since i knew i would miss them and realistically never see them again but then we showed them how to do the gay gordons and we all had a fun time. After this we visited the nuns hospital at the school campus to give them gifts for the hospital but i couldnt help but feel like there was so much more we could’ve done since they lacked so many things considered basic in our home country. The sisters gave us each beautiful handmade rosary beads most were magenta but a few were pink. Me and jemma didnt think they would fit over our heads but two sisters came over and forced them on insisting they would and im glad they did.

We didnt get much free time before the sun went down and we were plunged into freezing darkness filled with bugs and tarantulas so we made the risky decision to wander down to the river to show Keira the locally constructed stick bridge that stretched over which made us about five mins late for the next activity. Aidan, Aaron and jemma kept insisting i went the wrong way and doubting me but as usual i was right and we got there perfectly although Keira was slowed down by her skirt constricting her ankles. When we got there Ava sat on the seat that was built on it while me jemma and keira took pictures and looked at the river that appeared like something in a jungle movie with exposed roots, over hanging branches and massive rocks. We walked past a baobab tree on our way there and i really wanted to try the fruits since i was about 10 and watched the lion guard but they were too far away *hint hint*. We passed a turkey on our way there and a chicken flew towards me and i thought it was going to attack me but we didnt see them on the way back.

We made our way over to the primary next to play sports with them, they were all so happy and greeted us all with hugs, fistbumps and handshakes before we started our games with them. They were all so eager to play that i didnt know how to give out the rackets because they were all pushing each other out the way to grab them. Eventually they were all playing among themselves and the younger ones were holding my hands but i couldnt see keira or jemma anywhere after all the children had constantly surrounded them and apparently this was because someone threw a frisbee at keiras face but i think shes fine at least for now…

Our second last scheduled trip was to Magdelenas primary school for a party where they had made us all cake, sweet bread and many drinks. I had the grape soda which tasted exactly like a brainlicker in my professional opinion. After we ate we handed out the football strips and toys to the kids and they seemed to enjoy the whistles most.

Finally we had our last activity of the day which was a trip to the village but before this me and jemma were approached by the original rabies who let us pet him. I think this might have been the first time anyone ever had but he looked so happy and aidan came over to pet him too and we had been waiting the whole week for him to let us close enough to him. The whole week we had all wanted to ride in the back of a pick up and today we got a short journey in the back of one over to the nearby villlage. All of the people at the village were exuding hapiness although the majority of them didnt have matresses or tables to eat meals with their families and had no windows or lights in their homes. After our visit we tried to hand out sweets to the children but we didnt have enough for everyone and all 7 of us felt horrible especially when the villagers who had practically nothing handed us three large bags of nuts and fresh fruit and eggs.

During our stay there had been a few powercuts and at one point we thought we were going to be eating in the dark. Father Michael cooked us dinner tonight and we had bruschetta and pasta which was absolutely delectable, not for jemma though she couldnt eat the pasta because she said it was too spicy and after dinner we just sat at our table and had bananas and cake.


Wednesday 26th June by Jemma Johnston

I will never ever get used to, or enjoy, waking up at quarter past five in the morning: which is what I have unfortunately been doing for the past few days. However, despite having to actually  fight with a mosquito net just to get out of bed I still find myself very awake and excited for the day ahead. Today specifically I was excited to have a more relaxed and less taxing day than yesterday. Little did I know that on our way to Mzuzu (the main city area) we almost died about 100 times in the most uncomfortable van/bus(?) ever. One moment i’m looking out the window admiring the Malawian views and I turn away for one second to talk to Trinity and Keira beside me and all of a sudden the vehicle speeds up rapidly out of nowhere and I look out the window to see that we were trying to over-take a massive lorry while another truck is hammering down the road directly towards us and iIm not even joking my life flashed before my eyes, but we were completely fine and arrived at the hospital safe and sound. 


Before we actually went into the hospital we met with some priests right next to it. They were very kind and gave us juice and bananas. My favorite part of this specific moment though is that there were two tiny kittens in there too, they were very cute and I decided to completely disregard my peers comments saying that their names were rabies and I wasn’t supposed to pet them and do it anyways which was worth it but it made me miss my cat at home. After saying goodbye to the cats we headed over to the hospital to give the new mothers gifts like blankets, hats and cardigans to keep their babies warm from the cold weather (they find it cold but it’s actually mostly very warm to us). Doing this though was really quite sad – as I had anticipated. This is  because the head nurse had informed us that they didn’t have that much to support their patients and that our gifts and donations meant so much to them. They were so kind in expressing their gratitude but I’m still sad we couldn’t do more for them. As much as this was upsetting, I was eternally grateful for the opportunity to even help them at all, even if it wasn’t as much as I wanted to, it still meant something and for that I’m glad. It has also assured me that I want to continue to do things like this in my future, knowing that I’m helping people makes me happy. 


We didn’t have that long to recover from visiting the hospital before the day took another turn when we went to the markets and It was definitely an…experience. At some point we were walking through a section that only sold fish and it smelt vile. I saw at least three people who I will not name in our group who looked like they wanted to throw up, which was really funny but the smell was actually horrible and I was the same way so I can’t say anything. Just after this we approached a ‘stall’ that had like 50 chickens in cages and we got the opportunity to hold one, this was actually something i was looking forward to but after the amount of chickens being our dinner jokes i’ve heard i felt too bad for the chickens to hold one, but Trinity and Ava did and they made really funny faces whilst holding them to which I laughed at them for. 


The rest of the day was pretty calm, we went to a very aesthetic looking restaurant that served western food like burgers and pizzas. I got a burger and it was actually very nice and I was enjoying it until I looked beside me to find that Trinity had found what she thought was a bone in her burger. I laughed because I didn’t believe her but I think it actually was. However this this not deter me and i finished everything on my plate because it was tasty. After this we stopped briefly by a massive supermarket that sold american and uk sweets, i didn’t get anything here as I was saving my money to get something nice to take home for my family, or at least this was my plan until I got basically peer pressured by a very persistent random man into buying a bracelet that everyone was convincing me was £10 in uk money so i was panicking after I bought it but I found out that it was only £2.50 so i was fine and i’m very content with my purchase and shall treasure it forever, anyways that’s all that happened today, oh and the sunset was very pretty and there was a power cut at dinner but that’s it. I’ll most likely end this lovely day by saying goodnight to Sandy (the gargantuan fat tarantula that lives next to our toilet and hasn’t moved since we got here) after brushing my teeth. 


The end 🙂


Tuesday 25th June by Grace Clark

My day started off by waking up at a time i didn’t ever want to face- 4:45am. And i knew immediately that i was going to be shattered the entire day. We arrived at church for 5:50am and each of us got assigned a St Patrick’s student to sit next to for the mass since we where doing a day in the life of a St Patrick’s student today. After church we all walked towards the dining room where we had our breakfast. We had “porridge” which I would say tasted more similar to sugary slime but i still managed to swallow my pride and gulp it all down since i couldn’t sit facing all of the students saying that I don’t like the food they eat everyday. Not long afterward we all went to our first class, mine’s was maths. This class filled me with joy as we were learning about stuff that we learn back at home which for a short moment brought us all together and made me forget about the drastic differnce of our lifestyles. My second class was computing science where they where learning about all the keys on the keyboard which initially confused me as I thought it was common sense but then after deeper thought I felt a wave of sadness when I realised that the things that seem so normal to us are like aliens to some people since they aren’t as privileged as us and get access to all types of technology. 

For break one of the boys took me around the school and then he insisted on buying me some type of bread from the tuck shop despite begging him not to. This warmed my heart since even though they don’t have a lot all of the boys still go out of their way to give us the best they can and more. The part of the day i was dreading most was lunch time and when it finally came around I got too scared and backed down. Me and Keira thought we had managed to escape when we went to go home but too our suprise we where greeted by many of the students and got hurried into the dining room. After i’d sat down i looked around myself and found that we where surrounded but roughly ten people staring down at us. Once I had finally built up the courage I lifted up the nsima with my hand and scooped some beans onto it. The texture of the food on my hands immediately made me feel nauseous, but I still put it in my mouth and swallowed it. However my worst nightmare happened, the minute it hit my throat iI boaked and tears started running down my face. I instantly felt embarressed but instead of everyone that was watching me judge me they all laughed and chose to see the humorous side of it instead of getting offended. Despite them not judging me (well at least not to my face) I still feel guilty for making them think that the food they eat for two meals a day is inedible to me. 

Once the school day had ended we all decided to teach the boys how to play rounders which turned out to be a great success. Not long into the game we all realised that even though it was their first time playing the game they where still better than us at it. This further displayed how talented all of the students in St Patrick’s are despite them having a poverty ridden lifestyle. This made me feel an immense amount of hope for each of them and also reminded me that life isn’t only about the amount of opportunities you get, it is about what you do with the opportunties you are given.


Monday 24th June by Keira McGroarty

HI everyone, I am glad that I am gettIng the chance to share part of my experIence In Malawi as It has taught me many thIngs from how happy the people are here as well as the love they have for everyone around them no matter what. Today Is probably the best day for me to be writing the blog as It was the one experience I knew from the very beginning I would cherish even more than any other. 


Today started off bright but stIll cold lIke it is every mornIng, I have known for a few days that we would be goIng to St Magdalena’s and the primary school and I have been lookIng forward to it as I enjoy meetIng new people that have had different experiences than me and have a lot of tIme and patience for everyone but especIally those younger than me and I enjoy spending tIme wIth new people, I had thought that I would think in church more about the past days and use it as a tIme to thInk because the days are so full on and you don’t really ever get a minute to just think . however , when we arrived to church we discovered that we had the wrong tIme and it started half an hour ago which I was slIghtly glad that I didn’t know because I  was not even half awake at 6 never mind beIng ready and in church before then. After we had realised our mistake we went for breakfast which most of us rushed because we were going to the morning classes, the first class was history whIch I normally dread but strangely enjoyed as the atmosphere was very different and lively despite it being 08:30  In the morning and they had already had a class whereas in scotland we would be just about to start our first class of the day,after history we went to biology where I had been asked to gIve an answer to a question , I have never personally done biology as a subject so I was hesitant to answer but as soon as I dId the class was filled wIth clappIng and cheers from everyone.  For our last 2 classes before lunch we were in a class whIch were learnIng Chichewa whIch I was also urged to answer out before any of my friends which was scary but the response to my probably muttered answer was the same as the first tIme whIch I felt was the most kind and welcomIng response anyone could have gave. 


After the classes and our lunch we headed straight to the primary school whIch was an experience whIch I wIll remember for the rest of my lIfe as all of the kIds ran towards us and we were surrounded by them being gIven hugs upon hugs we then had the pleasure of being able to introduce ourselves and see the classrooms where all the children raced towards to show us them. I had the opportunIty to speak to a few of them myself whIch I felt was the most valuable thing I have been able to do so far in life and I missed being shown half of the classrooms as I was gettIng nearly tipped over with even more hugs,  as we were leavIng we seen all the smiling faces and the waves of disappointment because they didn’t want us to leave and neIther dId I (you can ask Miss McFadden I begged to stay forever more than once).

At St Magdalena’s we played games with the children most having disabilities which would otherwise hold them back but they were amazing and gave everything a try, the one that stuck with me the most was a little boy who had cerebral palsy and I watched him go from struggling to throw the ball to being able to pick itup and throw it to others, the most rewarding  part of the full day has honestly been seeing the happiness the simple things bring here and the way it has opened my eyes, making me realise I definitely would want to volunteer in Malawi specifically in teaching or something to do with the schools. 


Sunday 23rd June by Aaron Rai

Hello parents, it is your favourite S6 pupil Aaron S. Rai typing this blog today. We were able to sleep in today as the morning mass was at 8am, however I still woke up at 2am with no mosquito net around my bed. I sat for 10 minutes questioning what happened as I remember securing it around my bed. I went back to sleep and was awoken by my 6:30am alarm which was my indicator to go for a shower before a long day. The morning mass lasted around 60 minutes then we rushed through breakfast so we could get a minibus to another, larger mass which involved much singing and dancing which was entertaining to watch however all was said in the language of Chitumbuka so I didn’t actually understand. At this larger mass Aidan and I wore kilts for the first time and not to brag, I wore it better than him as my colour coordination was on point unlike his black, purple and white colour scheme. Near the end of the mass we were introduced in front of all the audience but when i stood up they laughed which i assume is because they knew how well i suited the kilt. This mass was roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes. After the mass we went on a 1 hour minivan ride on the bumpiest; rockiest; most unstable road I have ever been driven through which had mine and Aidans head hitting the roof every 3 minutes, but it’s probably fine and won’t have any noticeable side effects later in life. This road led to a lake which had many animal inhabitants such as monkeys, hippos and gazelle. I found the monkeys to be the best to see as they were the most active and were in larger numbers in comparison to the other animals. On the ride back, like I have been for most of this trip, I talked about a movie which involved love, singing and reuniting with a long lost family whilst also involving villains causing destruction, I am of course referring to the children’s animated movie Rio 2. Sadly, Aidan has become sick of me talking about this movie but it’s not my fault as many songs during mass remind me of the songs from the movie. Throughout the whole day I was aware that it was I who would be typing this today and since the beginning I’ve always had intentions of talking about Rio 2. After we returned we had an hour free which i did nothing during this time but when this hour was up we went to the church for a prayer ceremony lasting around 30 minutes. Stepping outside the church it was pitch black, but looking up where we’re able to see the beautiful starry night sky which we aren’t used to back in Scotland which I find to be a highlight of my day. Something many don’t know is that I have been making little videos, sometimes more than twice a day, talking about the malawian trip and I finished video 8.5 during the drive with occasional appearances from Aidan who mostly just stares into the camera menacingly. During many videos involving Aidan he is listening to his music as he downloaded many songs, however i didn’t do that and then that meant only song i could listen to was snap out of it by the arctic monkeys as with no internet it just loops the same song, however i accidentally swiped of spotify this morning so i have also lost that song and now just sit in silence or talk to anyone about Rio 2 or i think about we are going to do the next day with the boys at St Patrick’s.

Saturday 22nd June by Aidan McGowan

Malawi Blog 


I was woken up at 3am by a chicken outside my window. Although this was annoying i knew that eventually i would be eating that chicken as it was rather fat. Therfore getting my revenge.

However i dont believe that will leave a good taste in my mouth, metaphoricaly (the chicken is very tasty!). Every time we sit down for meals our table is overflowing with dishes, fizzy drinks, waters and all kinds of sauces and i feel nothing but guilt. For the boys geting any kind of meat is a special occasion but for us it is simply another meal, and i feel strongly that this food would be better served with them than us. The people at St Patrick’s give us their best accomodation complete with mosquito nets, clean runing water and comfy beds. They put on shows, sing and dance for us and we give them very little in return. Today after a 6am Mass and a 9am show we went into town the roadside was packed with venders selling fruit and other such things most of them children, we didnt really get to interact with them. On the way a dissabled man began walking with us. At first he was ahead of me and kept swaying onto the road. This conserned me as cars in malawi really stop for anything, so i speed up and began walking beside him. I wasnt sure if he could speak at all nevermind speak English so none of us said anything to eachother. Eventualy he motioned for me to give him the water bottle i was holding, a water bottle supplied to me from St Patrick’s. I gave him the bottle but it didnt realy feel like a kindness.

Later after we arrived at a supermarket, some of the girls noticed a kitten nuzzeld behind a rusty old bike and a cluster of metal rods. The cat was jet black but its most distinctive feature was its large grey eyes. Even though it was hidden away i couldnt sence fear in its piercing grey eyes, i couldnt sense anything at all. This is the same way i feel when i look at the people of malawi. I cant tell what they think when they look at me, whether they feel distain for me coming here and treating ther lives like a specticle to be observed by me or they are gratefull for me being and take my presence as a sign that ther are people in the world who care for there wellbeing. This may posibbly be because i am unsure of what me being here really means. After seing the cat i went back into the supermarket and bought a bottle of water to give. When outside i was unable to get the bottle open to which aaron then gave me his bottle that was already which i then gave to the cat. I think this moment summed up the way i have felt my time in malawi has gone. I tried to give the cat a drink and ended up a with a bottle. I try to give and end up only recieving. I take more than i give. Miss McFadden then bought us a meal a resuraunt in town. Me and Aaron both got the smoked beef which tasted nice but took several minutes to chew. After a while my jaw began to hurt so me and aaron desided to take a valient gamble with our lives and swollow the chunks of beef whole. Later on the walk back a man with an atrophed arm wrapped up in a crudley put toghether sling began asking us for help getting to a hospital. He said he needed to get their in the next few days. It seemed that there was nothing we could to to help him which seemed ood as i thought helping people is why we came here. In fairness i couldnt think of what to do either so i tried to give all the money i had left in hopes he could pay for a lift. I gave him 350 kwatcha, a water bottle cost 400. Even still he said god bless you. Later after checking my pockets i discorverd i had another 1500 kwatch still left. This made question alot of thing but most of all it just made me angry. Later on we played basketball with some of the boys allthough my shooting embarresed me this still lifted my mood.


Greetings from St Patrick’s

        We finally arrived at St Patrick’s at 1:30pm this afternoon just more than 48 hours after we left home on Wednesday. Again most of us managed to snatch a few hours rest on the bus as we came up from our overnight stay a little north of Lilongwe. The weather reminded us of Scotland changing from mist and low cloud to big open skies with sunshine and big clouds. The local town of Mzuzu was the customary chaos of large trucks, erratic minibus driving and people strolling on the verges and across the roads with barely a glance at the traffic.
One further hour north through yet more roadworks we arrived at St Patrick’s in Rumphi. There an incredible song of welcome from all the boys arrayed in their uniforms on the front grass as we left the bus greeted us and the members of staff welcomed us just as the Rector Fr Wezi had done at Lilongwe airport and the head boy whose name is “wonderful” added the boys’ welcome.
We were then escorted into the priests house where with great formality Fr. Martin the vice rector introduced all the members of staff by name and they introduced themselves telling us their subjects and how long they had taught at St Patrick’s. Miss McFadden then introduced the boys and girls from St Benedict’s telling the staff how delighted we were to be back at St Patrick’s after 5 years enforced pandemic absence. I added my own thanks for the warm welcome and how powerful the partnership had been for both schools. The pupil council added their formal welcome and introduction too and we all sat to down to a feast of welcome; chicken, rice, spinach & nsima. Exhausted we retrieved our suitcases and were shown our rooms giving the chance to unpack and wash before evening prayer a light bite and informal chats by the pupils of both schools which ended our very first day of our Malawian experience.

Fr. Michael

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