Saturday, 21 February 2015

I'm About To Get Busy!!

As usual I quickly settled back into life here, not much has changed during the two months I was away.

One noticeable change is the week after I left a new rule was bought in that all trading would cease at 6pm daily......I can't speak for other areas, but in my part of town that means al street traders, all shops, all restaurants and all bars have to be closed or stop selling by 6pm. This is bad news for the new restaurant that had opened just down the road from me, in November it was doing really good business and was attracting a lot of customers, particularly in the evenings.....I drove past at 6.30pm yesterday and it was all locked up, I hope they are getting enough trade during the daytime to keep them going.

Compared to when I left in December there are hardly any Ebola ambulances around, I've seen one or two teams but nowhere near the number we were seeing in November an December when there were 100+ new cases confirmed some days. The official statistics indicate that Ebola is reducing and that does seem to be the case.

I got a call from the BMI office about my missing luggage and they say it will arrive on the flight tomorrow (Sunday) and I can pick it up from their office in town on Monday - it will be a huge relief to get my hands on that bag!!

While I was away an electric pump was fitted to the water well in my compound (HUGE, HUGE thanks to those who helped with this!!), it allows us to fill the water tanks that feed the house and the compound with water from the well - this is just great as previously the tanks only filled with rain water, so no rain = empty tanks. The only other way to get water was to lower a bucket into the well and pull it up manually - I tried it once and it was really hard work! It's a real weight off my mind knowing we can now fill the tanks so easily.

I am enjoying living in the new compound and while I'm here I'm going to get the spare rooms ready so that friends can come to stay later in the year. I'm going to get a local carpenter to make one bed and one clothes rail and if they turn out ok I'll get the same made for each room.

I need to find a new office as I've decided that it's better to work away from home, so my hunt for office space starts tomorrow....I have a couple of ideas of places that might be suitable.

The schools are due to reopen here towards the end of March, so there is a lot of work to do to get the students enrolled and ready for school. It is such a relief that they will be able to begin attending school again after all this time - I am hoping to arrange a meeting with the Ministry of Education next week so I can find out if we will have to pay fees for just the last term or for the full year........or if the rumour that fees will be subsidised by the government are true - if this is the case we will use the funds reserved for fees on extra lessons for our students.

I need to find out if public meetings are still banned as I would like to hold a parents meeting to let the parents and guardians of our students know how we are going to be dealing with the reintegration of our students into the schools - if we are not allowed to hold a parents meeting I will have to go over it with each parent or guardian individually.

Now that most quarantines have been lifted I will be able to visit out sponsored students in the provinces, I will be planning a trip in the next couple of weeks and will probably be away for 3 or 4 days. I'm looking forward to my trip to the provinces!

We are continuing to distribute rice to those who need it most. Thank you so much to everyone who had donated to our rice fund. It's not too late - if you would like to provide rice for a family in need then you can either make a donation using the button at the top of this page or contact me and I'll let you know other ways you can donate......any amount is welcome and will make a huge difference to the families we are working with.

I'd very much appreciate your prayers that I may stay healthy. I can't take anti-malaria tablets, this isn't usually a problem because I take precautions and I'm tested monthly for malaria - I haven't had malaria for over a year now. When I do get malaria I usually go for treatment at the Adventist Hospital at Waterloo. The problem at the moment is that the symptoms of malaria can be similar to the early symptoms of Ebola.......any high fever is being treated as suspected Ebola, so I can't afford to get malaria now. On my first night back I noticed there were a lot of mosquitos around, since then I've been putting on my 'mosquito lamp' at night and I didn't see or hear any at all last night (it's a lamp with a purple light that somehow deters the mosquitos).

Prayer would also be much appreciated for the following:
  • That I find a suitable office space for a reasonable rentage
  • That the people I will be dealing with in the schools will be honest and open
  • The people helping me here will stay healthy
  • Our students will reintegrate into school ready to learn all teachers have to teach
  • The parents and guardians will be supportive of their children going back to school
Thank you xx

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