Saturday 21 March 2015

Pictures, pictures, pictures....

They say a picture tells a thousand words - in that case this post is very very long!! In reality I am just picture dumping in an attempt to resurrect my blog/get back on track with newsletters while in the process of changing things around!

I have built a new website for school which you can visit here and I have changed the existing website about Old MacDonalds Farm, removing school and updating it a bit. You can visit that here. They are both still in progress but you get the general idea.

So, since Christmas things have been interesting, better shown than explained.....

Christmas came with some super heros ushering it in

Bags and bags of toys were sorted. They were generously donated from all over Lusaka and redistributed between over 700 children.  We also had a lot of clothes donated. It was a bit worrying opening the hazardous material bag but everything turned out to be safe. Last week I went to Kasisi Orphanage where they have 250 children from babies to 18 years old. It was so nice to see them enjoying playing with some of the toys.

We painted and sorted, made and organised the old and new school buildings which took a long time but was so worth while.

In January we stared using the new classrooms after 2 1/2 long years of fundraising.  They have made a huge difference to the school. 

On day 1 Diana, the Grade 1 teacher thought she was lucky as not many children came... now she has the biggest class with 29 children.

Baby class and Reception now have tables that are the right size for them and don't have to carry their resources across to the boys dorm every day.

Grade 2 have been working hard learning how to read. Teacher Sam comes in twice a week to help them. All of the children are still enjoying using the tablet computers.

Grade 3 were very disappointed that they still have to use the old building, but the fundraising continues for their new classroom sometime in the future.

Lots of new children have started school. In December we closed with 65 children regularly attending, now we have 110 from aged 3 - 15. This family come from a home where there is no father, the mother doesn't work and is incapable of looking after them most of the time. They also have a baby brother. Their landlord, who helps feed the children and doesn't charge rent because he doesn't want the children to suffer, bought them to me so they can have a chance to learn. Peter, the big boy, is in Grade 2. Enala, the big girl, is in Grade 1 and the other 2 are in reception.

Every week we have a Friday Fun-day activity that usually happens during break time. The most exciting activity so far has been making bracelets.

 Grade 3 planned where to put new resources. These alphabet tiles were made in Scotland and have been bought over to hang up outside when the rains finish.

In February I looked after my friends 6 children for 10 days... SIX for TEN!!!!  
(The oldest girl in the picture is the youngest of the children I looked after.)
It was in term time so everyone was busy with school during the day. At the weekend we made the most of the swimming pool.

Christine had her 50th birthday, we planned 50 presents for her. It took a bit of organising and some creative ideas but we managed.

 At school we had found a tortoise on the playing field. I have never seen one in the wild before. 
One of the teachers stays in a house, on a farm, with Zebras. We went to visit on a day where it poured and poured with rain. It was fun to feed the Zebras though.

 We had a visitor, Jo Warboys, who is training to be a teacher come for 6 weeks. She kindly bought us some new outside play equipment. We got new hoops and skipping ropes. The existing toys got a much needed sort out and the basketball hoops that have been waiting to go up on our new building for over 3 years have now got posts on them as we decided attaching them to the new classrooms wasn't the best idea. 
I was also very tempted to bury some children one day. The holes were the perfect size!! School is now totally fenced off from home. (I actually have to go out of the main gate to get to school) this has been really good for me as the distinction is greater and I don't just 'wonder down' to do some work. 

We made a garden that hangs on the fence

 and planted lemon grass and grenadilla plants next to another fence.

Last week my Auntie and Uncle visited with their children. Henry joined in with the Grade 3 class and took to it very well. They loved having a 'new boy' in their class. Darcie helped in all different classes and hopefully we didn't put her off becoming a teacher. When they left I did a head count to make sure none had been snuck into suitcases!

and....I got ring worm, in a few places

Finally 2 of my lovely little children who have been very creative this week. Gift made some amazing cars out of mud, then put them by the fire to dry before playing with them and Mark has mastered how to make a loom band bracelet and made them for his whole family.

 so as you can see lots of progress has been made in all areas, the children still turn up daily to register and have to be turned away. We are continuing with our fundraising for the next 2 classroom block with a kitchen, toilets and office on the end of it.  It was really nice to have family visit and Jo come to help at school. Now we are working towards a big fundraiser the week after easter where we are bringing performers from Scotland out to put on a series of shows. After that things should return to normal.
Please Pray:
- New children and teachers settling into school.
- Fundraising efforts for the next building stage.
- Thank for all of the developments - and the fence around school!

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