Thursday 11 June 2009

Tanzania GAP 2009 video is here!

Malawi GAP Team - Lucy & Gasche´s Mozambique update

Everyone was excited to leave Maputo & head up to Tofo - even a 4am bus ride didn´t dampen spirits! On arrival we headed straight for the beach for a spot of sunbathing & swim, as well as a glass of Tipo Tinto - the local rum. Wednesday was the start of our dive course at Diversity Scuba which was spent watching thrilling educational DVDs & learning skills in the pool, before venturing into the big blue ocean on Thursday! Everyone came back from the first dive very enthaustatic & ready to celebrate Katherine´s (real) birthday! The theme was ´white trash´which involved fake stubble, plenty of trucker hats & several banana cocktails!

On our next dive some of us were lucky enough to see a manta ray swimming among the many tropical fish, but nevertheless there was still plenty to see including some moray eels, angelfish, lionfish (who Katherine had a v.close encounter with) and an octopus.

Saturday bought more hard work in the classroom, skills in the pool, an ocean dive and for some of us the final exam! The full-moon party in the evening was a perfect end to the day. There were also a few surprises throughout the night...!!! - including a visit from Bruce Gold (Dumbledore,) who Gasche was v.excited about!

On Monday, as Katherine & Me (Lucy) set off on the boat for our final dive, most people took the opportunity to top up their tans & enjoy some tasty food at Aunty Bea´s. Baptiste, Sinead & Charlie took to the waves with a private surf lesson to which they proved to be naturals & Kirsty came face to face with a whale shark!

For the final night we dressed up in our patterned trousers which we purchased from the local market & entered ourselves into a local quiz. A fun night was had by all, Amber, Sarah, Geri & Soph continued to party into the early hours of the morning at Dinos, before the 4am bus back to Maputo.

We all had a fantastic week & can´t wait to return to Tofo in the future! Thanks guys!

Volunteer in Africa 2010!

Monday 8 June 2009

Malawi GAP Team - Completed Clinic House Photos!

Congratulations to all the Malawi GAP team who worked extremely hard during their project phase to complete the construction of a clinic house - their efforts have definitely paid off. The lack of facilities for clinic staff has meant good doctors are reluctant to move to the area. The new house will provide much needed accommodation and facilities for doctors and nurses at the clinic, ensuring better quality health care for the local community. Check out the photos below!!

The completed house!

Sophie and Amber working hard to put the finishing touches to the house interior.

The clinic in Pensulo, built by Quest Overseas last year.

And in a break from the building work...Becky sporting Quest Team colours during a netball match with the local school...stylish!

Volunteer on Malawi GAP in 2010 or during the summer!

Monday 1 June 2009

Malawi GAP Team - project finished, 1st stop Swaziland!

We came, we saw, and we conquered the mounds of bricks until it became the house that Quest built. Our final few days in Pensulo, Malawi saw us sweeping the floors and adding those last licks of paint, not to mention being lovingly smothered by children for almost the last time. It wasn’t easy ignoring the urge to pull a Madonna!
The building shown here midway through the project, finished pics to come!

Our last evening wasn’t complete without our favourite beans and rice feast and a celebratory (and absolutely necessary) silent disco at the fully-fledged house, iPods in, whatever song we wanted, and dancing shoes on!

The last day began with one last fun yet fierce game of netball and football, and we walked away champions, both teams decked out with state-of-the-art and highly coveted bottle top medals!
By the afternoon, we were sent off with song and dance, feeling bittersweet about leaving what came to be home, but itching to begin our travels!

Into notorious Johannesburg airport we flew, where we welcomed our last addition to the group, comeback Kirsty, and set off by bus to Swaziland.

At Sondzelas backpackers lodge we indulged ourselves with horse riding, mountain biking and the like, being the super active people we are. No less than two days and it was Kirsty’s birthday, and her real one at that! We partied it up with table tennis and songs around the campfire, occasionally belting out our signature tune ‘5 Years Time’, much to the appreciation of our fellow sleep-riddled backpackers. "It’s not the music, not the singing, it’s the screeching!’
Soon enough, the time came for the most strenuous part of the expedition; the trek.

pictured from left to right; Katherine, Becky, Geri, Baptiste, Becky, Sophie and Amber

We started off on the right track, but soon strayed with inexperienced map-readers at the helm and sliding down a valley on our backsides. Not quite the plan! But with Lizzie the indestructible using her arms to beat those branches to a pulp, we were out of there in no time.

The trek came to a close with us exhausted, but no time to rest because Gasche’s fake birthday demanded a mighty celebration! Presents, a gossip girl card and a sinful chocolate cake meant that the birthday girl would be the envy of all Upper East Siders, a queen bee for the day. Having left Sondzelas in the Malkerns, we headed towards Shewula mountain camp across the country, to a beautiful view and actual, real beds!

Swaziland, it’s been wonderful. Mozambique, watch out! - Sinead and the Malawi Quest crew

Volunteer in Malawi this Summer or GAP 2010!