Scottish Charity Number: SCO36069

21st March 2012

A 20 Stone Toothless Spot by Naomi Dunphy

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How it feels like yesterday I was writing the last report – time flies so fast when you are having fun which isnt great! I was asked the other day when I was leaving and in my head I still have 7 months left but the very nice man brought me to the very blunt realisation that its actually only 4 months! I nearly sat down and cried. Anyway this month has been pretty bad for Aquaid as within about 2 weeks they had 6 deaths. The second last one was a young boy who was in one of my classes. I didnt realise until a few days later when I wanted to speak to him and found out it was him who had died. It was pretty hard to take as he was so nice and was actually really clever and worked really hard so I had super high hopes for him plus he was only 13 and I didnt even know he was sick. The last boy that died was killed walking to school in town when a lorry swerved to miss another lorry, I didnt know him at all but it is still so sad.

Anyway sorry for starting off with such sad news. On a happier note for those who love football ,the football league started this month and so there is a game every afternoon and two on Saturdays and Sundays so we basically just sit at the ground every afternoon watching football. It is actually alright because we do all the work in the morning and as its got really hot again you dont really want to be doing much in the afternoon so sitting watching others working hard is a very good way to relax. The only problem with this is that sugar cane and fresh maize has also come into season this month. Fresh maize is making me fat and sugar cane is completely rotting my teeth and also turning me into a massive spot so my resolution for next month is to cut back on both of these very lovely treats or I will return a 20 stone toothless spot which I feel will not be an awfy bonny sight.

Ethel who is the nurse at the village is going for an interview so has been studying a lot so the receptionist and I have quite often been left to attend to the patients. It is actually quite good because it has made me put into practice what she has been teaching me and she is always there to call on when I am not too sure and since I spend a lot of my time dressing wounds I dont need to call on her that often. The kids seem to like to wait until they have yellow puss oozing out of a wound that takes up half their shin before coming to have it attended to so that they are in tears and hitting my hands away whenever I try to clean it. This isnt great because it makes me feel really bad and yet at the same time its the only way to make it better

This month I have been getting lessons on how to make nsima. I knew how but it wasnt very good so one of the girls is now teaching me how to make good nsima. Its really weird because you stir it but it isnt the same action as stirring plus by the end its so thick that its really hard to even move the stick. Its really embarrassing as we take turns to stir it as its pretty tough on your arm muscles but Tomallie stirs it for a couple of minutes and then gets tired but I can only stir it for like 20 seconds and Im panting away which is bad enough but then some of the wee kids, who are about 10 years old come to show off and really show me up. The housemother did tell me last week that I have much better technique than them although I think that was just to make me feel good! Feeling good about myself didnt last long after the other day when I got tired stirring and gave up and then one of the girls came and stirred it with one hand! She made it look like she was stirring water while I was using two hands and barely moving it! At least it brightens up their day as there is always a ready crowd of girls prepared to come and laugh at me and thats, after all, is what Im here for!!

Another change is that Im now living on my own as everyone else has gone home which is actually quite nice and Im surprisingly enjoying it, although the Malawians think it strange that Im staying in by far the biggest house around here by myself – they cant quite get their heads round it. I can just chat to myself! Everyone here already think Im crazy, so why not! Ive had it pointed out to me several times recently that Im 17 going on 18 not 7 going on 8!

Anyway thats all from me for another month; hope you are all doing good, because I sure am!


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