Intake II End the Second Semester in Malawi
By Rob Sullivan of Shackleton Tent
After weeks of anticipation and excitement, it was finally time for the men of Intake II to make the journey to Malawi. Having already heard great things from Intake I, expectations were high. But before we got there, we had to survive The Trip. Two days of straight travelling lay between us and the Lake that we had all heard so much about. The boredom became unbearable. The cramps and the bumpy roads and the unscheduled police stops all made the journey seem like a life time. Finally, after what felt like years of driving, we arrived at Senga Bay. After everyone had settled down in their rooms, we were briefed on the adventures that would take place over the next two weeks. We were to spend a week doing community work at a local school and then end our trip scuba diving in Cape McClear.
For the first week we were Community Workers, Concrete Mixing Machines and Toys with which the local school children played for many an hour. Every day would start off at “Cool Runnings” and end up there. Definitely one of the many highlights of the first week was the Sports Day. Sam (the wonderful manager of the local pub “Cool Runnings”) organised three gruelling sporting challenges for us to partake in. These extreme sports consisted of volleyball, water rugby and beach soccer, and were taken on with great vigour.
The next big highlight was the tour through the town. We arrived at our destination and were greeted by a fleet of bicycles. Only to discover a few moments later that these are the very vehicles that would be carrying us to our next destination. And just to make it even more difficult for the peddlers of these bikes, we were all made instantly fat by a free ice cream. The ride was amazing as we whizzed through the town, watching the astonished faces of the locals fly by.
After our final goodbyes to Sam and everyone at Senga Bay, we made the short journey to Cape McClear. This was the part of our trip we were looking forward to the most. Clear blue water, golden beaches and a hot sun in the sky. Our holiday had just begun. Or so we thought. The very first day we reported for PT and realized that the beach sand was not forgiving on our bare feet. After PT we were off to the scuba school. A 15 minute walk later and we began with theory. This of course excludes our already qualified advanced divers Mr M, Sean and Luke who spent most of their days tanning, eating pizza and diving. Finally we were ready for our first actual dive and it was a moment I will never forget. Being under the water was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Down there, amongst the vibrant varieties of tropical fish, the language of colours is spoken, and the deep blue water silences the world above us.
Unfortunately our time in Malawi had to come to an end, and we were all very sad to see our last sun set in this magnificent paradise.