Friday, March 25, 2011

A Surprise Teaching volunteer arrives at our door!

Things are all go here and it is unbelievable how time flies ! – I suppose that that this is a good thing really, since they always say that time flies when you are having fun !!
The past two weeks have seen a good mixture of positive and negative events. On the negative side, the biggest problem was that the water supply to the entire town of Nazareth was turned off for four days last week ! This appears to be a seasonal thing and typically, no advance warning is given – you simply wake up one day and there is no water ! Although it is normal for water to be off for a few hours at a time, it is unusual for it to be off for a prolonged time.
Everyone has water tanks which holds water which can serve as an emergency measure, however, this only lasts a couple of days after which you are in trouble ! For the schools this meant that we didn’t waste water on flushing the toilets but as you can imagine, by day 3 it was a smelly place to try to learn in ! As a result, along with all of the other schools in the town, the school was closed on the fourth day with the children simply being told that school would resume once the water came back !!( I suppose you could call it the Ethiopian equivalent of a snow day ?!
The other problem was that there was no sugar in the country ! This seemed very strange as it is currently the sugar cane season so there are wheelbarrows of long sugar cane everywhere you turn, with the seller simply chopping the amount that you want to buy with the machete that they are walking around with . As a result, everyone seemed a little bad tempered since this meant that the daily cup of coffee was not available ( everyone has copious amounts of sugar in all drinks ) and it is a relief to see it trickling back into the marketplace, although at a higher price than previously !
The great news to counteract these difficulties was the fact that a volunteer turned up on the doorstep ! Although I had communicated with Paul previously via email in which he expressed his interest , there was nothing definite, thus it was a surprise to all at the school to have him arrive at the gate ! He had been working on a missionary programme in the country and had 10 days to spare so decided that the best use of his time was to work at the school !
In addition to his excellent job of teaching the grade pupils, he is also carrying out an intense English language training session after school with the teachers, resulting in everyone winning from his sudden arrival !
 Paula – the previous American volunteer left this week after about two months in the country. She really did a marvellous job of not only teaching the children and carrying out teacher training sessions but also given invaluable advice on fundraising – an area in which we would be generous to classify ourselves as “ weak “ ! Thanks to her we now have a solid foundation fundraising strategy which very soon be launched – so get ready !!!

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