After the Porter’s Race, which took approximately seven hours in total, we all freshened up and enjoyed a little down time before heading to Mulanje Arts & Crafts for pizza!

The spirits were high, all participants were enjoying a nice cold beer or G&T whilst awaiting their food. Inno and I checked around to see everyone is alright and sat down to have our dinner too.

Next morning after a warm breakfast, all bags were repacked into the buses and trailer, ready to leave for Zomba. We took the Phalombe road which is newly constructed and made for a smoother ride.

Once in Zomba, we stopped at Thundu Primary School, where all the challenge participants took part in a fun run to the Youth for Development and Productivity centre “YODEP”. Here we met the Project Leader McBlessings Buda, and Project Coordinator Joy Mwandama who gave a brief history of the organisation and laid out their future plans for the community.

Following this talk, we were led into the cooking area where one of the Homestay hosts Sara Kaombe demonstrated how to prepare a local dish called Futali, a mixture of sweet potatoes and groundnut flour. Quite scrumptious actually.

 After a nutritious vegetarian meal, we made our way to the front of the centre, sat on a home-made rug from old 50kg sugar sacks and enjoyed a musical showcase of different tribal dances such as the Gule wa mkulu and M’bwiza. Everyone enjoyed it and clapped through the show. I recall a few members, after the show, giggling and asking me why certain dance moves were performed in the way they were. I enjoyed their enthusiasm and participation in all the activities that day. It was now time to drive up the Plateau and settle into the lovely lodging at Sunbird Ku Chawe.

This was a day full of community involvement, the real village setting and just getting the feel of happiness in a rural setting. The children were very excited, especially when Dame Kelly Holmes and a few of her team members conducted a mini aerobics class. My translating skills were put to the test when I had to explain DKH’s instructions to the children in Chichewa, I had lots of fun.

 I hope you enjoy the lovely pictures I have laid out for you. If there is any empty day in your itinerary and you feel you don’t know what to do, visit one of our communities, visit the children and let your inner child play in the dust and sun of Sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi.

More of the Orbis Challenge on the next chapter.

For now, #bepartofsomething.

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