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Itinerary - Malawi-Venture - Africa and Asia Venture
Itinerary - Africa and Asia Venture
Departing from London Heathrow, you will be seen off by one of the AV team. You will need to fly into Lilongwe, via Nairobi, where your Malawi-based AV rep will meet you. You will then travel by bus to the Korea Garden Lodge in Lilongwe – the base for your orientation course.
A chance to settle in, unwind after the hectic few days leading to your departure and get to know your AV group. The orientation course is important to sure you are fully prepared when you arrive in your school. The course will be led by the AV in country representative, giving you a chance to get to know them too and will cover the following:
The orientation course for the Malawi Venture takes place at the Korea Garden Lodge, situated on the outskirts of the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe in three acres of landscaped gardens. You will share accommodation with your fellow AVs and will have all your meals cooked for you. In between briefings you can relax, explore Lilongwe and settle into your new surroundings.
At the end of the orientation course you will be taken to your AV houses, ready to start your project for real. The AV representative will leave you to settle into your new home, but remember they are never more than a phone call away if you need them!
What you do each day is partly down to you and what you have chosen to do; rarely are two days on AV the same!
In the classroom all lessons are taught in English. The schools appreciate help in English, maths, science, art, drama, music and computers (if they have them). You may spend time with students who are struggling, giving them help with reading, writing and speaking English. You can teach with you partner, or on your own, and on average will have at least 12 academic and PE/games lessons every week. Class sizes vary but can be over 100 students. Outside of this you will spend time planning for lessons and may have homework to mark!
For those doing sports coaching you will run all the PE lessons and arrange sports clubs. PE lessons may involve big classes and little equipment; they are a good test of you initiative and resourcefulness. Games such as tag or duck, duck goose are great for their simplicity and mass participation. Sports clubs involving football, rugby, athletics, rounders, volleyball, cricket and netball are all actively encouraged. There is also the option of teaching new games which you might know. Many AVs arrange fixtures or tournaments between the different AV schools or an inter school sports day.
In addition to working in the classroom, or on the sports’ field, AVs make a big impact by running school clubs – these include debating, reading, French, modern dance, art, music or drama; AV volunteers have run talent shows, produced school newsletters and magazines or started a choir. Many AVs choose to brighten up classrooms by painting them or decorating the walls with educational murals from the alphabet and numbers to world maps and the solar system - let your imagination run wild and leave your mark!
Each day you will spend time socialising in the staff room, usually over a cup of chai (sweet tea) or lunch. This is a great chance to get to know you fellow teachers and learn more about them. They will be keen to talk about where you are from, your family and life at home whilst you can practice your Chichewa! The teachers will be on hand to show you round and advise where to shop, the nearest internet café etc. They will also be a good link to other work within the community, with the potential for helping at orphanages, medical clinics or community centres depending on where you are and how much you want to do outside your responsibilities in the school.
At weekends and public holidays you can stay at home or travel further afield. You may want to continue work on projects you have started, such as painting a classroom or run an inter school sports competition. Alternatively you can head to the local town to shop, check emails, catch up on news from home, or meet up with other AVs, visit their schools and travel to different parts of Malawi. You won't be stuck for things to do in Malawi at weekends - AVs often meet up and head to Mount Mulanje, the Zomba Plateau or Lake Malawi, particularly visiting Nkata Bay, Cape Maclear and Senga Bay.
To find out what a typical day on project might be like take a look at our ‘Day in the life of an AV’ feature, written by AVs who have been there and done it themselves!