Monday June 26th and counting !

Another 10k ticked off ……

………..and one more day closer to going out to Malawi. I knew that the Great Manchester Run would be different to Blackpool but I have to say it was absolutely amazing.  Definitely something that I will always remember.  The crowds and the atmosphere were something that I wasn’t quite prepared for.  The support that came from the crowds really did make a difference.

Although I still didn’t manage to crack the 60 minute barrier, and I was following the 60 minute ‘banner guy’ all the way until the last couple of kms but never mind as they say it’s the taking part that counts – guess I shouldn’t have stopped to take a photo !!

But this race was something special following the dreadful happenings earlier on in the week. Puts everything in to perspective and whatever we can do to help each other, no matter how small or how big;  no matter what race, creed or colour; is so important – definitely taking my medal and t-shirt with me as a reminder.

On the Malaria tablets front, I have already bored people with the story so to précis  ( oh how clever is that – accent acute – Grade 8 O’level French all comes flooding back !) Choice of 3 types of tablets – I chose  one particular type – costed it out by asking the local Pharmacy.  Comment from pharmacist – “That’ll be £1,400 How long you going for ??? ” – I replied  – Errr – 12 months.  ‘This prescription is for 8 years !!” – ooops –  Suffice to say that I now have a new prescription for just 12 months. Anti rabies only one more to go, all other injections now received.

I was originally told that I was to work in Mangochi, which I believe is a largish town with over 100km between schools and training institutions. …… ‘Sorted’

Last week I heard that I was to be placed in Salima, a slightly smaller town on the shores of Lake Malawi.  I could stay in an apartment block that had various provisions including bars on the windows  and  Night Guard – … is that the same as Night Nurse ???? – ……… ‘Sorted’

Yesterday I was told that I am now back in Mangochi and at the moment have no accommodation but am assured that something will be found for me –  This way of organisation I am beginning to think is synonymous with the Project  …..  Anyone possess a tent with a mosquito net ? ……….. ‘Sorted ?’

Not sure about Man Friday’s footprints – haven’t found him yet !
I absolutely know where everything is or Just in case I need it for an Assembly


On a personal level, I had a number of tasks to undertake before I embark on the adventure.  Probably the number one was to clear the garage of all the years accumulated items since moving from Essex. Although of course I knew where absolutely everything was – no I did, honestly I did ……..  and could quite easily put my hand on any item within seconds, ….. well maybe minutes… there was a request that this be made a little simpler for others.  So last week I set to and with the help of a rather large skip, sheer ruthlessness and a few tears, I cleared the garage of some 25 years of ‘ I’ll just put that there as you never know it may well come in handy !” syndrome.



Still have the ‘Suzuki 100’ motor bike in there, which was my solution for getting to a school as an ‘Associate Head Teacher’ as it was the only way of getting there as the car was otherwise engaged.  It hasn’t seen the light of day for the last 22 years.


I’m told it’ll stand me in good stead for the Trials Bike that I’m going to have to learn to ride on the roads of Malawi to go and visit the schools – not totally convinced !



If anyone wants a Suzuki, please let me know. But for the first time in my life the car actually fits in the garage !

Again I have to mention the generosity of the people who have donated to my Just Giving page ( links at the side of my blog) The amazing generosity of you all has been absolutely brilliant.  A special thanks to Inglewhite Congregational Church where I gave a short talk about my proposed visit.  The generosity of the congregation was fantastic, as well as the verbal support in thoughts and prayers.    Also to the Freemasons, in particular the Capper Chapter, who although operate a considerable way from where I live,  were kind and generous enough to donate to my adventure with VSO.   Your generous donations are very much appreciated.

This Saturday is the village Whitsuntide Festival.  After more than 20 years of being the MC for this event – this quite definitely is my last

( I say that every year but this one definitely is !)   I love doing it but it really is time to let someone else have a go. You can’t get to me in Malawi – although knowing Mr & Mrs Butters I’m not convinced !!


I have now received my flight tickets so it is  all seeming very real. Important questions are starting to build.  Ive actually started putting a few clothes to one side thinking I wonder if I’ll need that ? What clothes should I take?  Now where did I put my suitcase ?  Can you buy fish and chips in Malawi?  What books should I take to read ?  ( alright alright I know I don’t read but I’m there for 12 months !!! ), How am I going to play my music ? Can you get Netflix in Malawi?      So many questions and so few answers ! ………



The next couple of weeks as you can imagine, are quite full with preparations and courses.  I won’t deny that I do have thoughts that go along the lines of ….   “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh oh ‘my goodness’  (radio edit!) but I can’t tell you how much your support and words of encouragement mean to me – thanks x



3 thoughts on “Monday June 26th and counting !

  1. Love Reading the blog Mike. Had a chuckle over the 25 years of accumulated ‘junk’ in your garage with the before and after pics. Not long to go now – must be quite scary! Lots of good luck and look forward to reading more about the adventure. xx

  2. Hi Mike, So nice to meet you last weekend at the VSO course. I’m keen on following you on this amazing journey!! Greetings, Wilma

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