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4th August 2006 ~ Text from
- Just got back from handing over the school. Not enough
superlatives to describe the event. Students outstanding.
Will try to email later when I have taken it all in.
18.13 (GMT) -
Email from Julian Teece
What a day, I have so many emotions about
the handover that I’m not sure what to say as
there was so much to take in. I will try and recant
some of the morning's events, but I am a bit overwhelmed.
The day started at 7.30 am as usual
and we got to the school early to add a few finishing
touches. We were due to start the hand over at 10am
and worryingly there were few people around, slowly
more and more people came out of the bush until there
were 100 or so sitting on our benches facing the school
and the VIP table. The students were in their “clean”
orange T-shirts and were guests of honour at the front.
Around 11ish a couple of official 4x4 cars appeared
and the officials from the Education department got
Alan from Africa Nomad introduced us
and Mr Whomsley gave a speech followed by Steph L and
James E which were translated for the growing crowd.
We then sung them a song which was warmly appreciated.
The officials from the Education dept responded and
some of the women sung us a song and danced.
The VIP’s were then shown around
the school and were very impressed with our efforts.
Schools in Zambia are built to the same plan and finished
in identical ways so our artistic and stimulating decorating
caused quite a stir. The villagers were then allowed
into the school and caused quite a scrum as they were
so excited and keen to get inside. The noise, excited
atmosphere and facial expressions were quite humbling.
We provided orange squash and biscuits before the Education
officials closed the ceremony with some heartfelt thanks.
A highlight for me was at the end when some of the young
children recited a poem for us and included “Love
as Brethren” into their final words. As we drove
off we were surrounded by the villagers singing and
I feel it only fair to get a few thoughts
from some of the group to sum up:
“An extraordinary culmination
of two years hard work” Mr Whomsley
“I am extremely proud of all the students’
achievements and honoured to be part of it”
“Lovely, full of happiness” Louise B
“A special feeling inside! All our hard work paid
off which was seen by the bright smiles of the children”
“A feeling of fulfilment and personal happiness
seeing a project complete” Kristy D
“An amazing feeling for all involved”
“Brilliant to watch the opening of the school
and the celebrations” Adie Langford
“Simply awesome” James T
Tomorrow we complete the last few jobs
at the school, Sunday our personal “fun”
activities and lastly on Monday we take the Twabuka
school children to Victoria falls.
Today has been a very special day,
the difference we have made to the whole community of
Sindi cannot be measured.
Telephone call to Jessica Wilding
at Liyoyelo Farm
Jess tells us she has just had macaroni
cheese, but has had far too much ‘meat’
over the last month and looks forward to some salad,
for which she has specially purchased some salad tongs!
She is definitely in good spirits, but is now looking
forward to coming home – after her final microlite
and canoe trip over Victoria Falls, of course.
She definitely enjoyed the telephone
call, just hearing our voices, and vice versa. Just
a hint, if like us, you have put off calling just the
Jessicas’ camera is filled with
pictures of elephants, lots of them – not sure
whether this is lots of elephants, or lots of pictures
of the same elephant. This is just the general gist
of the fifteen minute telephone call. A certain mum
is counting down the minutes until they arrive safely
at Coopers again.
Telephone call to Emma Honey
at Liyoyelo Farm
Spoke to Emma this evening. She said
she had waited up for us to call (it was 9.15pm in Zambia)
So she must have been VERY tired! She doesn't eat meat
but has had plenty of rice and pasta.
When asked if she was looking forward to coming home
she replied 'not really' as she had really loved her
stay and all the things she had done. Said they had
visited the market where the stallholders had tried
to persuade her to buy their wares, mentioning that
English is their national language so there was good
communication (just as well really!) Also added that
all the students had developed a Cornish accent (WHY?)
so warned me she may sound a bit like Worzel Gummidge
when she arrived home (parents beware!).
Really glad they have had such a good time, but being
Mum I am really looking forward to Wednesday!