Friday, 9 December 2016


Rhoda and I
Another school year is finished. In the run up to the end of term the Grade 2 children had been practicing the nativity play and Grade 3 practiced christmas poems to perform to the rest of the school, any parents that came as well as 'special guests' Mum and Dad!  After the performances the promise of a party and presents waited. It turned out to be a very fun morning, highlights being the chocolate game, using a knife and fork to eat a bar of chocolate while dressed up and the sweet scramble which basically involves me throwing seats around and the children collecting as many as they can. These were actually the only two games requested by the children.

Miracle (Centre)
Through this year we have seen a lot of changes. As always their have been quite a few children leave when families have shifted because of work and new children have replaced them. The core group of children remains the same however. Miracle has been with me since 2011 and Rhoda since January 2012! There are now 6 members of staff. Angela and Mirriam joined us in September and have been working together to teach the Grade 2 class. In January they will have their own classes as we will be adding Grade 4.

Putting on the roof
At the moment we are building two new classrooms and two offices to be ready for using in January. Grade 3 have been in the container classroom as a temporary measure but it isn't really suitable as a permanent classroom and the addition of a Grade 4 class means that once again our rooms will be full. Plans will need to be made quickly if we want to add a grade 5 class in 2018 as the container classroom is going to be turned into a library, the old classrooms will be turned into an eating area, the new container will be stationary and supplies and we have pretty much run out of room!

Thank you to everyone who has generously supported Taonga School or have been out to visit us and help in the year.
Mary and Joseph

Grade 2 Nativity

Party snacks
Their eyes sparkled all day!

Any child who had been at a Taonga party before
only wanted to play the chocolate game! 

Reading in the office before school



Thursday, 15 September 2016

So many good things…

Children returning to school

Children being fed

Classrooms being built

Plans to put windows and gutters in the old building
Fish still alive! (It’s not guaranteed with my track record!)

Tools organised sensibly (and they have been used and all returned once!)

New resources being appreciated and used well
Hugs from kids

Yes, everyday has problems and frustrations but what will it benefit anyone by listing those.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Taonga School 2015-2016

As I head back to Zambia I have put together a short video about Taonga School... 


Thursday, 4 August 2016

How to procrastinate like a pro!

Tomorrow I am travelling to the UK for 3 weeks. After 7 years I like to think I'm getting pretty good at packing, this is how its done...

First do the accounts for school, which haven't been printed off since March
then take photos of flowers
go for a massage
play with marcus
go shopping
 drink coffee
 play the flute (which hasn't been touched for about 5 months)
 try to check in, and look at this screen for 20 mins
do some HR work
 fix a doll that was falling to bits
watch some nursery rhymes
 hang out with some friends
mess about on the computer
eat cake
take photos
uploaded them
write a blog
and finally, start thinking about packing!
Maybe its time to sleep... I don't need to leave the house until 10.30 tomorrow anyway!

Saturday, 30 July 2016


Teacher Abi, there are too many!!
Too many!!

This was the cry from several of the children as about 50 visitors, Americans and Zambians, descended on Taonga School on the morning of the 18th July. In a way my heart joined their cry but I knew great things were to come!
The 'Arise Africa Bible Week' team had arrived!

During the week that followed the children quickly realised that all of these visitors were a good thing!

The children were split into groups of 6 or 7 and each group had an American visitor and Zambian staff member. The adults all took time to teach the children about God, play with their groups and learn about the children.

Everywhere you looked there was a group of children
Keen listening in the big groups sessions
Through the week there was a real buzz in school. The children arrived early, were very well behaved and even the little ones who are quite shy were responsive and able to recite their memory verses into a megaphone for the rest of the children.

Photo booth fun

 On Friday they had a party. “The best party ever!” There were sports, face painting, a photo booth, a bouncy castle and hotdogs for lunch!

This week I have been gifted the interns (6 of them) to do jobs at school. They almost burnt the school down cleared rubbish, listened to children read, painted and tidied. 

Thank you Arise Africa, Alissa, Megan, Faith and the team for coming in, taking over, loving and teaching!

Almost setting fire to the school

Every child has a hand print


Faith, Me and Megan

Chatting to visitors

Who knew a balloon could be a hat, and sword, and dog...