Day four and we were off again, this time joined by Charlie who was staying with us for the rest of the trip causing much consternation amongst the group as many of us noticed his lack of padding either on his saddle or nether regions! It’s hard to say which of the next three days…
It has been a year of change at Open Arms with our new Director Charlie McCaulder, new Administrator Helen Hinde and new Matron Rex Mbewe starting in Malawi. We’re also delighted to welcome Jasmine Leitao to our UK team to join Judith Rudolf as a Fundraiser and Claire Collins who started as Fundraising Manager at the end of last year.
The next year I arrived in Blantyre on a three week trip with Kingswood School. From reading a bedtime story to Ephraim in Harrogate House, to swimming in the freezing cold pools on Mt Mulanje, elephants in Liwonde NP and getting covered in mud making bricks in Mangochi, it was an amazing experience. Although this trip only scratched the surface.
I met Neville and Rosemarie Bevis many years ago, when they moved to Malawi to take over the running of Open Arms. I was fascinated by the project they were about to undertake, and followed it closely through the local media. I promised myself I would go out to Open Arms when I retired.
Each year we very much look forward to the scheduled visits from our partner schools, as the students, without exception, arrive overflowing with enthusiasm, energy, compassion and a real desire to learn and make a difference to the lives of all those connected with Open Arms. This year we were once again taken aback by the sheer determination, positivity and spirit of the young people who came, and their endeavours have left a tangible and lasting impression on all those who spent time with them.
It’s been a year of milestones in Malawi, especially for our older children, as Norman and Eric completed their first year at Kamuzu Academy, whilst Nefila, Chikondi, Mary, Agness and Wilson finished primary school and passed their entrance exams to secondary school.