Zambia and Malawi 2014
On the 17th of July 2014 13 of us along with Mrs Bainbridge and Rich (our expedition leader) set out for the journey of a lifetime. It all started with an 11 hour flight from Heathrow to Johannesburg and then another flight to Lilongwe – Malawi’s capital. After a long flight we all came off the plane tired but excited to see where we finally were. We travelled in a rather squashed minibus to our first stop Mubaya camp where we set up our tents and made camp for the next two nights.
After the first couple of nights in Lilongwe we then started our acclimatisation phase travelling to the mountainous region of Malawi. We were in a place called Zomba and this is where we stayed for the next few days. During the days we hired a guide who took us deep into the beautiful mountains and showed us some of the best views we had ever seen!
After the acclimatisation phase we then travelled to the school where we would be staying for the next week. After being welcomed like celebrities we started to get to know the school and the teachers that worked there. Some of us went in and had a meeting with the head teacher who told us some of the things we would need to complete the job that we would be helping them with. The task that we were sent to help them was, was to finish off a project that had started in 2010! We had the honour of opening the building that had taken 4 years to complete. It was the new head teacher’s office joint with a library for the children. We painted the walls, put up shelves and painted maps of the local area all over the walls. We also added our names and the Chew Valley School logo as a memento from our visit.
It was then on to the trek phase, the thing that most of us had been dreading! However it all went smoothly and completed the walk as a team. Although there were some ups and downs – physically and mentally, we all got to the end of the route with a sense of achievement.
It then reached the last week of our trip the rest and relaxation phase (the holiday part of the trip). It included a day and night safari, a trip to Victoria Falls and white water rafting down the mighty Zambezi River. It also included over 20 hours of bus journeys.
We all had a fantastic time that we will remember for the rest of our lives, we would recommend anyone to do the trip. At some parts its hard work but the outcome overwhelms the bad parts. I can truly say it was a world challenge.
Harry Salmon (Y12)