by Rhianna McChesney, Education & English Student
In today’s words of Mr. Wells Sikala, HELP’s Country Director, “Lose nothing, gain more.”
Wells spoke these little words of wisdom after he honked our truck’s horn to alert anyone who might have been walking around a particularly sharp bend in the long, narrow, maize-lined, bumpy and winding dirt road on our way to Mlambe Junior Primary School. Wells lost nothing by honking his horn like a mad man when the gain meant potentially saving someone’s life. Something about Malawi makes it easy to adopt this kind of optimistic mindset.
At Mlambe, one of Nanthomba’s local sister schools, we distributed more drawstring bags and water bottles from IFAW. Before passing out the gifts, everyone exchanged introductions with the area chiefs. It was an honor to meet the people who lead the community here. When it was time to leave, the students crowded around us. Touching their hands outreached in gratitude as we inched our way to the trucks made my heart swell with the joy of everything I have gained so far from this trip. Lose nothing, gain more.
by Maggie Stark, Art Student
Day three of sewing!
Today started fabulously with our first African Safari! Guess who saw elephants? Oh yes, this girl! Along with two families of elephants, we saw kudu (like African deer), baboons, wort hogs (yes, Pumba!), water buck, impala, vervet monkeys and a buffalo. It is the rainy season here, which means the foliage is super lush. It was quite the treat to see all that we did.
After the wild safari, we took our tin boat across the Shire river to the trucks located within the park. We all piled in the Land Cruzer heading toward Nanthomba Primary School for our after school sewing session. We passed by students on the road, and they started to sprint in excitement after us.
by Taylor Bruno, Psychology Student
It’s only 9:41 AM and today has already been so eventful! Earlier at breakfast a mischievous little monkey jumped right on our table to steal Jessica’s (from H.E.L.P. Malawi) eggs! Although it was hilarious, I ran out of the way instantly because I thought it was coming right at me afterward. Following that we got ready for our daily trip to Nanthomba from MVUU, where we watched the hippos and alligators from the boat dock. After getting to the other side of the Shire, we loaded into the trucks to take us to the school. On today’s ride, I saw baboons for the first time!
We reached Venice early afternoon yesterday and quickly headed out to see the city of water. We visited Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square and the inside of the cathedral. We all had the afternoon and evening to ourselves, many of the group headed to 6 PM mass.
Our early morning start had us heading out to meet our local guide, Katarina, who took us all over to show us much of Venice. Many of us took this time to also see where the good shopping stops would be when we had some free time after the tour. Venice is a special place to end our tour together, there is no where like it in the world.
Tonight we have our farewell dinner and thank our wonderful guide, Enrica, for her tremendous help, guidance, humor and drive to get us all through the 17-day tour. It has been an amazing journey with alumnae, friends of the College and some new friends to the College. We can’t wait to tell you all about our experiences.
We had a day jam-packed in Florence with a visit to see the statue of David, Florence Cathedral, political center, Uffizi Gallery (for some) and plenty of time for shopping. As soon as we stepped foot in Florence you could smell the leather.
Our first stop was to see the statue of David, it was spectacular. When I walked into the room my eyes were quickly drawn to the enormous statue of David and its complete perfection. It was incredible to think that it was completely sculpted out of one, 6 ton piece of marble.
We soon headed over to the Florence Cathedral, where we turned the corner and it appeared in all it’s beauty. The marble was white, gray and pink hues, each color accenting the other. Due to the incredible detail on the outside of the cathedral, the inside was very modest, but still beautiful.
Almost 1/2 the group met after a quick lunch break to see the Uffizi Gallery. The building itself was a masterpiece, but numerous masterpieces here hung on the walls and placed on pedestals. Even the views for the windows to see the Ponte Vecchio were special. It took most of us a while to get through the museum but when we headed out, we shopped and enjoyed a special gelato called the ‘cream coffee’, basically it is vanilla gelato with espresso put over top of it. It was worth ever bite…one alum said it was worth the trip to taste it.
Tonight is our last night in Tuscany and we head to Venice for two nights.
We have spent two wonderful days in Tuscany with visits to Perugia & Siena. Visits to cathedrals, chocolate shops, museums & delicious trattorias. Here are some wonderful photos from the visits.
And an little Ursuline in our Villa Lecchi