Jackie Speakman Malawi

Names of staff involved in your programme:

Joshua, Emma, Blessings, Mama and Papa, Deborah

What members of staff do you remember the most?
All of the above!

What were your impressions of the accommodation?
Very basic but comfortable and friendly

Why did you want to volunteer?
To make a difference to others with less than myself and to experience life in another country

What did you do for fun?
Played card games with other volunteers, went into town for meals and shopping, read books and played sports.

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
I enjoyed the whole experience, meeting the Malawians, learning some language, working and playing with the children etc.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
The volunteer complex is like one big family, I made friends with all the volunteers and staff. I got to know the people I shared a room with more than most though

What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise, why was this? Anywhere around the volunteer complex is good for socalising with the Malawian people, if you arrive with a friendly attitude. For nights out, Dominos bar serves meals and is a good place to chat to locals. Also Lwonde, the local lodges are welcoming and near the National Park for Safari adventures. Although I did not visit, many volunteers said that Gekko’s by Lake Malawi was a great bar and close to the lakes beaches for fantastic weekends.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?Please explain why.
Yes, I would like to return to see progress made with the project, but would also like to experience other counties through volunteering in order to see the real country, and understand the local difficulties, not just the tourist impression.

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?
I would recommend OV to anyone wishing to volunteer- it provides peace of mind for lone travellers.

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Research the place you plan to visit, the season, weather, politics, religion etc. Take everything you need, food, clothes, bedding, entertainment, a phone, lighting and loads of batteries, electricity is very limited, as is hot water.