Friday 4th August 2006 ~ Text from Julian Teece:-

13.25 (GMT) - 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 out.

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 dancing.

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”
Mrs McCall

“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” Georgina C

“A feeling of fulfilment and personal happiness seeing a project complete” Kristy D

“An amazing feeling for all involved” James E

“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.


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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 once.

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!

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