Monday 19 October 2015

6 Years and counting!

Lessons in the bedroom. 2009

Seven weeks ago I returned to Zambia to start my 7th year living here. 27 August 2009 I landed in Lusaka International Airport at around 6.30 am, I thought 1 year was going to be a long time, little did I know….

Looking back over the last 6 years lots has happened and changed. Looking back over the last 7 weeks the same can be said but through it all God has been constant. 

My role here has changed a lot since moving. Originally I was here to work along side Don and Christine teaching around 14 boys who had come into Old MacDonalds home and needed to settle into home life, come off drugs and catch up on school work. Now I am running a school with just over 100 pupils from the local area and only 2 boys that stay with us are in school with me.

Lessons in the hall. 2009
There were no dorm buildings, the boys use to live in the house with us when I moved,  30+ boys and the family in 1 house. Now they are all at the dorm. 

There was no school building, even the little building we used was a house for a worker and her family. 

The longest I spent in 1 room without moving to a different room in the first year was 5 weeks. Now I have my own room which is big enough for a comfy chair/desk and has my own bathroom. (without hot water but thats a power/water pressure issue, it could work one day, maybe!) 

We used to have a fairly steady electricity supply except in rainy season, now we have daily power cuts for at least 8 hours. 

The first classroom at Taonga school.
Internet was hopeless - it still is! Between power cuts and the internet having ‘a fault on the line’ we have had a working connection for 2 days out of the last 10.

The exchange rate was K5-£1 now its K18-£1 and climbing daily as is the price of everything. 

This is just the beginning of the list for the last 6 years, but looking over the last 7 weeks there have also been many changes.  Changes of plans, expectations and jobs.

Since coming from the UK Christine has been in South Africa for 5 weeks suffering from encephalitis and an auto immune virus which left her very weak and unable to even lift a fork. She has been slowly improving but it has lead to a reassessment of all the things we are doing. 

The bakery is scaling back its work for now. No more tea parties, just bread and simple orders. We need a full time manager to be able to take over what Christine was doing.

The first class of Taonga School.
We are no longer adding another grade to school next year. Instead we will take a year to consolidate what is there and make it a great school! This reduces the pressure to build and find reliable staff.

So, plans change but the work continues. 
None of us know what is in the future.

Thank you for your support over the last 6 years, through all the changes and decisions that have been made. 

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