(Disclaimer: cheese factor - high...)

Picture the scene; it's 4pm Sunday afternoon, our first day off on our ICS placement and we're entering the ninth hour of a power outage in Mzimba Boma (for those of you who don't know, a small rural town in northern Malawi).

We've read. We've sunbathed. We've hand-washed our knickers. We've napped. We've cooked. We've cleaned. We've declared boredom.

Which brings us to this very moment now, where we are asking ourselves what has gone so fundamentally wrong that we have lost all ability to entertain ourselves in the absence of electricity, yet our Malawian host looks on with a wide smile and the rest of town continues as normal.

And here came our epiphany, less is more where happiness is concerned.

Okay, a charged iPhone with Facebook a click away is great, but it's also distracting us from reality. There is after all some irony in the fact that the one thing that is supposedly connecting us, is actually what's making us more disconnected than ever before.

Volunteers delivering a session to community members

With this in mind, it is no wonder that our Malawian counterparts are so happy, sociable and have such a strong sense of community given that they don't have the same reliance on technology to keep themselves entertained.

The side effect of this is that the Malawians are on the whole much more present than we are in the UK, where we're often in so much of a rush to do things that we rarely enjoy our day-to-day tasks because we've already mentally moved onto the next thing.

So yes, here in Malawi it does take longer to make dinner on a coal stove, hand wash clothes in a basin and heat up water for bathing in, and you may as well forget about wondering when you'll next be able to charge up your phone. But when you're going by GMT (general Malawian time) you learn that time is just a concept and you begin to find joy in the mundane and refocus on the community around you.

Maybe, just maybe, the world won't end when your battery dies.

Written by ICS volunteers Becca Foster and Hollie Barry