Thursday, 28 April 2011

My Culture Days By Chloe Grandidge

Once a month the volunteers get to take part in a culture day. Culture day is a day set aside, where we go to Eddie's house (Eddie is our translator) and spend the day with our family.

We start the day off with 'market challenge'. We each get given a list of ingredients to go and buy at the market and a certain amount of money to spend. It's a race, so the fasted market shopper gets a prize. Due to the language barrier it can be tough actually buying the right things, but it is still fun trying to find your way around. There are also always plenty of people willing to help. Not that this always works because I managed to buy the wrong things in my first challenge even though I had a lot of help, which is ironic. The second time though I didn't get any help and won! My reward was a box of bicuits and a chocolate ha ha!

We then go to Eddie's house and help cook the local dish 'matapa'. We get to try all the traditional methods of cooking, from scrapping out coconuts, using a paladori (basically a special stool with a circular grater attached) to crushing the peanuts and molhos de matapa (in English= matapa leaves), using a Gadoo. This is definitely not how you spell it! It's official name is mossi and churi, which is basically a large pestle and mortar.

Unfortunately I can't eat matapa because of the peanuts, so Eddie's wife and neices made a special rice dish, which was really tasty.

I found it really interesting to see how sociable a thing cooking is here. We cooked on two open fires, outside under a tree and everyone helps out. Many people walk in and out just to see what's happening. They find it really funny watching us attempt the different cooking methods. they openly laugh at us, which I think is hilarious.

Whilst dinner is cooking we get the chance to play with Eddie's six children and their freiends. We take a box of games for them to play with, which they enjoy. Although, children being children, they usually find something else to play with. Maybe a stick or a plant ha ha!

Eddie has a huge garden and he grows alot of his own food. He showed us how and when to pick certain foods like sweetcorn and peanuts. I tried alot of different foods, which I really enjoyed. For example: cassava (the root of the matapa plant), sour fruit from the tree, coconut and coconut milk.

I have been lucky enough to experience two culture days and both have been just as good as each other!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

My name is Zacarius, I live in Vilankulo and I'm 19 years old. I started firstly to learn English with African Impact in 2008 with Teacher Jude and in 2010 with teacher Kerrie and with other volunteers from different countries. With African Impact's help I'm in teacher training college in Vilankulo where I am learning to teach English and my other friends whom I studied with in African Impact's classes are working in different companies in Vilankulo. So I hope that after my English teacher training I will be an English teacher in a Primary school.

Thank you African Impact for your help.

Thanks so much Zacarius, you were a model student and welcome back anytime! We all wish you the best luck for the future :)

The above photo left to right is Zacarius. Kerrie and Beny (another English student).

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Edson's English by Lies ter Braak

Every Wednesday and Friday in the afternoon we teach English at Edson's class. There are three groups, separated in levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced.

The students are of all ages from young teenagers to adults. But what they have in common is that they really want to learn English. It's their own choice to sign up for joining, so they are motivated and that's nice to see. What we are doing in our lesson will help them to improve their English speaking and listening skills. It's a good thing that we can create this opportunity for the students; it's supporting their chances to get a good job in the future.

Thanks Lies! The current volunteers are great at planning and preparing for their English lessons and really are providing the best EFL education for their students- Kerrie

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

My Pre-School Experience By Runa Aarre Sommarset

My main reason for going to Vilanculos was the pre-school. I love children, and back home in Norway I used to work in a kindergarden. I thought it would be interesting to work with children in Africa, and I was looking forward to get to know children with a total different culture from what I’m used to.

The pre-school project is amazing! First of all, I got surprised over how much work earlier volunteers have done, and you can really see that it is making a difference. We have a lot of resources and games that makes it easy for us new volunteers to make the lessons fun for the children. So far we have been teaching numbers up to seven, colours, shapes and some letters. The children are working hard, and even though it’s not always easy to know the difference between green and yellow, or p and d, we can see that they are having a good time!

It is very hot in Vilanculos these days, sometimes up to 40ÂșC, so we arrange beach-day almost every Thursday. The children, teachers and the volunteers are all enjoying this day! It is nice to get down to the sea and let the children run and play in the water. At the end of the day we are all really tired, but it is really worth it!

We have also arranged and art-day at the pre-school. One of the volunteers, Chloe, brought some pegs from England and made dolls. The children had to give the dollies hair and dresses, and the result was a lot of cute, sparkling and dollies. We also made some gift-tags, and it is all going to be sold to raise money for African Impact’s team on the Amazing Race. At the end of the day the children went crazy with the glitter! It was a fun day! As normal, we have a lot of singing and dancing during a day at the pre-school.

The children are getting really good at the national anthem, and "I do, I do" is always a great way to start the day. The meals are always the highlight of the day! We are really glad that we just got some new cups. Now the children don’t have to wait so long to get their e-pap! As a volunteer, I’m really enjoying life in Vilanculos.

Of course there is some ups and downs; sometimes my lessons doesn’t work as well as I thought, other times I feel that I manage to teach the children something new, which is a really good feeling! And then you have the children, they are so adorable! Their smiles and laughter are priceless, and I will definitely miss them when I’m going back home!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Projects Update

Hello everybody, just a quick update as the projects have now been running for about a week.

Pre-school: The little ones are mostly settled in now, they really are tiny! Everything is now running with a smooth routine, obviously aided by the current volunteers. Unfortunately just before the school re-opened the chickens were stolen. We will buy more when we can ensure the safety of them! However, from the farm the peanuts and beans are almost ready to go into the children's rice.

Edson's (Adult) English: The testing day was a real success with over seventy students registered, although we had to turn away around thirty. If the numbers drop then at the start of every month we will hold a testing day to register the eager students. It's great to see the old faces return but also to see plenty of new ones too!

Orphanage: We have visited the Heart to Heart orphanage twice already. We have spent time with the gorgeous children there and also begun laying the cement floor for the second dormitory. At the end of this month there will be an Open Day we people can visit in and see what they orphanage is all about. The volunteers will have a large role in organising the activities.

English Club: Is running very well, the volunteers and students both enjoy the one to one time and a more informal and conversational based lesson.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Escolinha is re-opened!

We had seventy very excited (and very tiny) children at pre-school this morning. Many of them you will recognise as being brothers or sisters of previous pupils although they certainly do have their own little characters! The new children enjoyed singing songs, seeing the new library and being given their new sunhats (kindly donated by ex vol, Maureen Lonergan). Later today we will see the arrival of our first volunteers and as well as teaching at pre-school they will also re-open Edson's English by distributing and marking tests on Friday, with the classes starting next week.

Good luck future volunteers...we are looking forward to your help this year :D
p.s. I'm having really problems uploading photos at the moment so bear with me, there will be more!

Saturday, 26 February 2011


As you may be aware from the 1st of December to the 1st March our projects have been closed due to the weather (heat and cyclone season). During this time we have made improvements to our pre-school and watched our oldest children start school (sob!)

Escolinha De Boa Esperanca:
The school has undergone a reguvenation! The staff for three months have been working tirelessly painting, fitted doors, clearing land and planting crops. The school is now brighter and lighter and more secure. The land is ready for the children in March, peanuts and beans are bountiful and will provide a nutritious lunch together with the rice. One of the rooms inside the school has also been transformed into a library, with reed mats and cushions on the floor and books the volunteers can read with the children. We can’t wait to see the children’s faces when they first come back to school!

African Impact’s class (the five to six year olds) have now graduated to school. They have grown so much in the last three months and we will really miss their strong characters but wish them luck for the future.

Sponsor a Child:
This month the seventeen children who are currently sponsored all recieved a school uniform (so smart!) as well as the other donations requested.

Edson’s English and English Club:
Both of these projects are set up and ready to begin. Due to the Church’s (Edson’s classes site) other committments we will hold Edson’s English on a Wednesday and Friday afternoon and the Volunteers will have Thursday afternoon’s free instead.

Heart to Heart Orphanage:
Are very excited in anticipation of our March incoming volunteers, their first project with be continuing the good work of the November volunteers in continuing to build the second dormitory block.