Isaac Sacca

Isaac Sacca

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back In The USA

8/11 Now that I'm back, I can see how much my time in Malawi has changed me, while my surroundings are still mostly the same. I've been reflecting a lot about what I accomplished with the help of my fellow volunteers. Even though we only taught in four schools, it feels really good to think that we have educated at least a small percentage of kids on subjects that they need to know about. This experience has really opened my eyes to the world and has made me think about how I am using the resources around me. I am seriously thinking about trying to go back next year. I will have a slide show of some of the pictures i took up for all of you to look at hopefully by the end of the week.
Thanks again to all that have contributed in anyway to sending me to Malawi.

Friday, August 1, 2008

7/21 The street kids project and the second day of the orphans
project were great. We didn’t run things quite as planned for the
street kids, but we all had a good time. First we played soccer, then
some relay games. To bring our short stay with them to a close, we
played ultimate frisbee that some how evolved into an arm wrestling
contest. Then on Saturday, Baker got about 300 more trees for us to
plant. Unfortunately we only got to planting about half of them. Sunday
was a rest day and some people went to church with Owen, one of the
translators. The people that did go said it was a good experience, but
it was long and tiring. The rest of us stayed at the college house and
sat around. Then we went to the craft market for some late morning
Bargaining. Overall it was a good day. Then today we started camp
number three. We combined with the college group and then divided in
half. The group I was in drove right past the school the first time
around, then we finally asked somebody for directions and eventually
got there. But it didn’t matter that we were late. There were only
about twenty students waiting for us. After a little while, a few more
kids showed up. I ended up having a class of only 14. Our last camp
starts on Thursday with a homestay on Friday night. No body is looking
forward to the end of our stay.

7/26 Our last camp was a blast. It's winter break here right now so
there weren't as many kids as usual. But everybody had a ton of fun.
This homestay was not even comparable to the first one. I stayed with
a man, his wife and their baby daughter in a brick house instead of a
mud hut. I fell asleep at about 8:30 and slept pretty much all the way
through until Jakes alarm went off at 5:00. From there, the two of us
and our homestay father hiked a small mountain to catch the sunrise,
which was incredible. Then we proceeded down to camp to teach our third
and final day of camp for world camp 2008. Now we are all but excited
for the safari and the lake.

8/1 On Monday, at about 7:45am we left for our safari. By 2:00pm we
were all unpacked into our tents. At 3:30 we went on our first safari,
an afternoon boat ride. The first thing we saw were a pod of hippos.
From there we saw a few crocodiles, impala, water buck, fish eagles,
and an African sunset on the water. Which completely blew my mind. The
next day we got up early to go on a game drive, but the driver was
late and he didn’t have the key to get into the black rhino sanctuary.
So we canceled that one and booked a 5:30 drive for the next day. For
the rest of that day we hung out and watched monkeys, baboons, and
warthogs that hung out right outside the lodge and pool. That night
some of us were awakened at around 3:45 because there were two
elephants in our camp. I saw one of them as it walked past my tent.
Then we got up at 5:00 and were in the land rovers at 5:30 for the
game drive. Within the first five minutes we got a close look at some
more impala and an elephant. But the elephant was in the brush so we
couldn’t see it very well. After that we went into the black rhino
sanctuary. While we were in there we saw two herds of zebras, two
more elephants, a heard of buffalo, kudu, baboons, sable, which are
like impala, and a few hart buck. Unfortunately we didn’t see any
rhinos. There are only nine of them so there wasn’t a very good chance.
But we had a ton of fun anyway. Tomorrow we will be leaving for the
lake. Then on Monday we leave for the airport and start the long haul
to America.

Thank you so much to everybody that helped make this trip possible. It was such an eye opening, and wonderful experience for me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

7/13 Today we went on our hike. At first I thought there would be a road all the way up to the top, but after about ten minutes of walking, we turned off the road onto a trail. Half way up, there was a cabin with a lone cactus in front. Even from that level, there was an
Amazing view. It was so much different than hiking in Vermont. First of all, when we got to the top we could see for miles and miles with an unobstructed view. Whereas back home there are trees and foothills that lead up to the mountains. Here there is desert and then jagged peaks coming out of the sand. When we got back to the house, we unloaded our stuff and then went to the fabric market. All the women thought it was hilarious when I tried to bargain with them. We can then send the fabric to a tailor to get bags and other things made. Tomorrow we are going to start out second camp. I’m pretty excited and Its close by, only about 20 minutes. The last one was about an hour and a half drive.

7/14 The first day of our second camp went very smoothly except for the “rug rats”. They are the kids in the standards below 5. What they do is stand right outside the doors to classrooms and make distracting noises. They also try to get in line for food at lunch
time. The kids in my group picked up everything fairly quickly. Also I have a really good translator for this camp, Chickabachi, which means something to the effect of “what’s up?”. He really likes the kids and gets right down with them. The first day is the longest and hardest, but I like it the most.

7/17 The second and third days of camp were great. The presentations of the third day were spectacular. After the performances, some of the volunteers played soccer with the kids and a few teachers. This time there was no official team so we didn’t loose quite as badly. It ended up being a tie. Today was our first day working with the orphans. Here, orphans are considered kids who have one parent. So there can be “double orphans”. Today, we planted about 200 trees. Tomorrow we are going to work with street kids at a shelter for them in Lilongwe. The college students are on their safari right now, so we have the main house to ourselves.

7/18 Today we hung around the house and went to the fabric market again. Then at 1:30 we drove to the shelter for street kids. First we served them nsima and beans for a late lunch. Then we played some soccer for about half an hour. Then we split then into two teams and played some games. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to all that we had hoped to play. Finally, we played some ultimate Frisbee that eventually turned into everybody arm-wrestling each other. When we got home around 4:30, some of us went to the local craft market to look at jewelry and woodcrafts. Tomorrow we go back the orphanage to plant some more trees. I think there are 300 this time around.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

After over 16 hours of flying, we finally landed in Johannesburg.
Customs went pretty smoothly and we only waited for about half an
hour. From there we went to a hotel for the night. It was about 4:30
pm local time when we landed, but it felt like mid-morning. After a
great sleep in the hotel, we got back on a plane and took the two and
a half hour flight to Lilongwe, Malawi. Once we got out of the
airport, it really started to feel like Africa.

Today, Monday (July 7), we started our orientation. We went to a village to watch the college group go through their day. Thursday will be our first day of camp by our selves. On the drive to the village, almost everybody waved. Everybody here is so happy and outgoing. Yesterday, while we were in the grocery store, I met another Isaac. The people here have nothing, but I would bet that they are happier than a lot of the people in the U.S.

Now that our first camp is over, I feel much better about the next few camps. I know how things run, what makes the kids laugh, what makes the translators laugh, and how to keep high energy in the classroom. Friday night (July 11), before our homestay, there was a soccer game between the Kaphumphe School team and some of the World Camp teachers. We lost miserably, but it was a lot of fun. When we arrived at the village, they had organized a traditional dance, costumes and all, to welcome us. After that, we went back to our respective families. But that didn’t last very long. Before long, everybody was outside singing and dancing. I spoke a little bit of Chechewa, and some of them spoke a bit of English. Even though my accommodations were almost comfortable, I got very little sleep. Everybody was up by 6:30 cooking breakfast. Some of the Malawian women taught some of the World Camp girls how to fetch and carry water on their heads. Before we left the school on the third day, the students, helped by us, put on a short skit or song that demonstrated different points about HIV/AIDS, the environment, or malaria. Then we presented the school with certificates for completing some workshops of their own. We are all very tired, but are looking forward to the next camp. Tomorrow, (the 13th) on our rest day, we will be climbing a mountain. Not exactly restful, but it will be fun. The internet is a bit funny, but I'll try to get another email out in a week.

13 July hike (click on the photo to enlarge it)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 8, 2008

it was clear when we flew over africa to joburg, but everybody
was so jet lagged we all slept. but then flying to lilongwe was nice.
im fine and we start camp on thursday. its a homestay. ill have info
for the blog soon.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Little Bit About What I'm Doing

Last year my cousin Katie went on the World Camp college program in Malawi. For the first time this year World Camp started a high school program. Katie, who is now one of the coordinators for the Malawi high school program, asked me if I would be interested in participating in it. I thought about it for a while then talked with my parents and finally decided that I would go.

I thought it would be a good experience for me, but more importantly I would be helping people who need it. Also, it is an opportunity to get out and be in a different culture for a little while.

I’ve been getting a whole bunch of shots… also getting everything that I’ll need to take, such as gifts for my homestay family and kids in the camps as well as doing a little reading about Malawi.

I want to thank all my friends and family who have helped make this idea a reality. It is an opportunity of a lifetime that I plan to take full advantage of it. I will be updating this site from time to time so check back!