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My Malawi story ~ Isobel Waller

Getting on the third flight of my trip, I thought I knew exactly what to expect when arriving at Open Arms in Blantyre, having heard so much from family friends, teachers from my old school and my peers. 

Volunteering in Malawi

However I was so wrong, it was so much more than I expected. The warmth of the people and the excited screams from the children that fill not only your ears but also your heart, welcome you in.

The 7am wake up time was something which I was used to however nothing could prepare for me for the mess that followed; never in my life have I seen porridge in so many places apart from a bowl. The cleaning of the floor and the kids was the next job of the day. 

My favourite time in Blantyre was the afternoon, waking all the children up from their naps to play outside, waving to the older children in Harrogate house. Whilst I was in Blantyre, two of the older children in Harrogate house, Isaac and Grace, left to live with their new foster parents. Both happy and ad tears were shed, but from this I knew just how much the children who call Open Arms their home are loved.

In my last week I left Blantyre to visit the Open Arms home in Mangochi, which is something that cannot be missed. Close to the lake, the home is beautiful, with big gardens and open spaces.

Volunteer Malawi2

The mothers and all the staff absolutely adore having visitors and you are taken in as one of their own. From dance lessons to competitions of bao, there was never a quiet moment. 

During my time in Mangochi some of the older children from the foster houses came up, the boys from Rose’s house, who are some of the kindest, funniest guys I have ever met. We spent hours by the lake just listening to music and throwing each other in the water. 

Volunteer Malawi3

I will never forget my time in Malawi, the people I met and the memories I made, I hope to return very soon. 

I learnt so much, from patience (mainly because everyone out there is on ‘Malawi time’, you’ll find out what this is if you visit) to loving one day at a time, Open arms firmly holds a place in my heart.

If Isobel's story has inspired you to find out more visit our volunteering pages by clicking here.

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