The weekend brings the mid-point of the visit and all manner of comings and goings. The first cohort of Drama St Mary's students leave with Claire by mini bus for a couple of days at Lake Malawi. Meanwhile back in town, Matt flies in, from a few days networking and making connections with Drama programmes in South African Universities and Eric, who'll supervise the students during this second week, returns from monitoring duties in Karonga. The day after, the students themselves stand hot, bleary eyed and bewildered in the baggage reclaim of Lilongwe International airport ready for their adventure. They're pitched almost immediately into an introductory workshop.
I'm heading back to the UK tomorrow, followed early next week by the lake bound students, but Patrick, Matt and I grab a chance to talk about how things are going and how we might sustain the partnership over the next few years.
In July Patrick returns to the UK to focus on fundraising for the company and is handing over operational management in Malawi to Linda Paton, who used to co-ordinate VSO activities in Vietnam. She comes in on Monday and Patrick will begin a three month hand over period. Matt will get a chance to met her and talk through the project.
Patrick's been delighted to host, although there is a sense that our guys are a little off the pace and are observing more than leading the work. The conversation, which will be ongoing, is how to make them more effective facilitators in the work.
On Monday, the only night when the whole group are together, Tfac staff and some of the participants we've met will get a viewing of Poison Into Medicine, the verbatim play, constructed by the St Mary's students from interviews carried out with East Londoners living with HIV/AIDS. I'll be back in rehearsals for The Canterbury Tales by then.