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,


5 thoughts on “The Last Post”

  1. Thank you Father Michael and Bernadette. Without you they would not have had this experience – they are very lucky. Despite their resilience and commitment to doing their best, I don’t doubt you will have had your challenges away with 7 teenagers! I look forward to Grace’s return and hearing all her stories. Thank you again for guiding and taking care of her through this wonderful experience. Cheryl 🩷

  2. Thank you so much to both of you for looking after all of them and giving them this amazing experience, I can’t wait for Ava to come home for a big cuddle and to hear all her stories, safe journey home x

  3. We will never be able to thank you both enough for giving Keira this amazing opportunity. I saw from her blog that she was already rethinking her future career choice. We are also grateful for the care you both showed Keira when she was unwell. Safe travels home and God bless.
    Thomas and Natalie McGroarty

  4. Thank you Bernadette and Father Michael for allowing Aaron this opportunity, we can’t wait to hear all his stories from Malawi. Safe travels and have a great summer. The Rai family.😁

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