words by Rachel McGuigan (S5) and pictures by James Finlayson (S6)
On June 2014 18 pupils and 3 staff journeyed from Kingussie High School to Malawi. During the trip we visited our partner school, Muloza Community Day School and experienced their school day. We spent a good amount of time joining in classes and helping them to expand their knowledge of English. Part of our work while we were there was to help with a Sustainability project which both KHS and Muloza Community Day School have been working on over the past year. Throughout the day we organised several sports games and different activities that the pupils could take part in, however most of the Kingussie pupils ended up joining in the fun!
On the trip we also visited Samson Nursery which everyone thoroughly enjoyed as the children from Malawi greeted us with an amazing welcome song. Observing them as they recited the colours was a definite highlight of the trip. Again we organised some activities for the children at the nursery to participate in such as, wheel barrow races and team games.
During the second week we visited a primary school, the experience was both enjoyable and terrifying as the pupils chanted our arrival with loud voices. It was clear that they did not experience visitors that often as they insisted we take pictures with them and give multiple high-fives. That afternoon we attended a Malawian church which entailed traditional dancing, singing and the balancing of bowls on the African women’s heads.
In our second week in Malawi we ventured to a Safari Park where we stayed overnight and enjoyed a bush walk, boat safari and jeep safari in the very early hours of the morning! Another highlight of the trip for most pupils was seeing various wild animals such as hippo, elephants and zebra roaming freely around us. Some of the group were lucky enough to stay in the honeymoon suite. They could see zebra at the waterhole whilst taking an open air shower, and even had a warthog in their bathroom!
On the last night of the trip we were treated to an evening of live music from a traditional Malawian band during which we were all soon found dancing and laughing as they played several songs we recognised including some of Bob Marley’s most famous tracks. Our accommodation that night was in traditional African huts, with NO electricity! We spent the evening reflecting on the trip and what an amazing experience it had been and although we were excited to return home, everyone wished that we could stay longer. The expedition was incredibly enlightening and all the pupils involved had a better view on how different life can be in other parts of the world.