By Emily Parker (Bishop’s)
At 5:00 am we were all on the bus heading for Livingstonia; our first “exterior learning opportunity”. I was really looking forward to it. That being said, I was also worried about all the work we still had to do, especially me because I am leaving a bit more than a week earlier than everybody else (so is Rita). Thankfully, the ideas for our units are being expressed and formulated rather well, however it is mostly the editing that is time consuming. Nonetheless, I think with a little more discipline we all as a group can step it up a notch in order to get more done each work day. This would not only allow for the editing, but also the final touches to be done in a stress free manner.
Now back to the “exterior learning opportunity”: We had an interesting day on the bus. It was not long before we got a flat tire, but later on we had the chance to have delicious lattes, cappuccinos and even macchiatos for some, eat too many chips, listen to music and sing along of course, stop in a local village to use their toilets and finally the last part of the drive was a very “sketchy” drive all the way up to the top of Livingstonia where we were staying at Lukwe Lodge. Even so, this was all worth it the second we saw one of the most absolutely breathtaking views I have ever seen. Words cannot describe the feelings or emotions that were passing through me while I gazed out into all the landscape had to offer. The view was filled with different heights of mountains, vegetation, villages a far and best of all, a view of Lake Malawi. Every part of me tried to take it all in at once, but I think it took the entire time we were there and until the very last moment before we left, and still I think I may have missed something.
It was not long after arriving there that everyone was dropping off their belongings in their gorgeous huts or Shayla and I, in our cute little tent. Then shortly after, it was time for relaxing and conversing over a nice cold beverage. The conversations were happy, but mostly grateful for our little escape. When supper time came, the gratitude filled the air 100 times more! The food was absolutely scrumptious and we had salad, without even getting sick! Need I say we were in heaven? This wonderful evening continued with much laughter and new nicknames for everyone… So much fun! I will not mention what time, but later on it was bedtime and Shayla and I cuddled to stay warm on that cold jungle mountain night!
Our little escape to Livingstonia has just been one of the countless opportunities I have had here that constantly remind me to simply appreciate more every minute of every day, no matter where I am or what I am doing. This is easy to say, but I challenge myself to keep the sense of appreciation alive within me even once I am back home, cooped up in my normal everyday life.