New Beginnings at WTA, The Rock and The Bridge
Elspeth Dugdale | February 1, 2015
I am envious of people who have not yet been to Africa – they have so much to look forward to'
The three of us have arrived safely! Yes, three. As we arrived back so did a new baby – at The Rock.
We called in to say hello to the nurses and missed the birth by five minutes – a healthy 4kg baby girl – as yet unnamed. Mum allowed us to take a photo whilst she bathed and dressed ready to walk home!
Whilst the school is very quiet without students, for The Bridge and The Rock it is still business as usual. The Bridge are running a holiday club and The Rock are treating members of the community and delivering lots more babies. There were five births when we were back in England and there are many more 'pending'. The Rock is proving very popular for childbirth in particular as the community are spreading the word that it is clean and affordable and the staff are properly trained – sadly not the case in many 'health centres'.
Since we have been back it's been all about preparation. There is lots of maintenance work going on – painting, cleaning and (Stan's particular favourite), latrine emptying! We are already planning Activate, English lessons and a teacher training day. Charles is currently in the north, signing up pupils for the new Senior 1 intake this year. This is somewhat difficult in that students are unable to attend secondary school until they can show they have passed the primary school exams, and those results are not yet out, although they will be 'quite soon' (no actual date though!). Same applies for the O Level results – they 'may possibly' be released next week, so again, until they are known, those students wanting to attend 6th form cannot attend. Consequently the start of term – officially Monday - is often a long drawn out affair and we may not have a full school for a few weeks.
The quote above was used by a young English man we met this week – he said he read it somewhere, we can't find out where it came from but understand it completely. Once Africa is in your heart a little bit of you stays behind when you leave. Of course we miss home, family and friends (although not the weather!), but we are happy to be back to catch up with people we (and they we hope) consider friends. Indeed there have been many 'Aiee's' of excitement as we have been greeted!
We remember and pray for the students returning to school starting on Monday February 2nd, as they arrive over the next couple of weeks. It is always a difficult time – finding school fees, getting away from the house and field work, finding money for the transport and then waiting for space on these overcrowded buses.. We particularly pray that the girls have managed to avoid being married off for a bride price by an unscrupulous relative.
The attached photos show that life and work goes on here even when the school is closed - children at The Bridge, Sue and Stan's 'to do' list!, Lilian the midwife with the new arrival ,and preparing 'dodo' from the Guest House garden (turned it into an African/Italian fusion with pasta.!
- Thanks to Sue and Stan for providing this update about the start of the new school year at WTA