Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ups.... and downs

This week has been a culmination of ups and downs – fortunately, more ups than downs – but at the same time challenging !

           On the positive side, we have been lucky to be awarded another grant from Wings of Support – a KLM led initiative. This will buy us two water tankers ( meaning that from now on the school will never again have to be closed due to lack of water – an occurrence which currently happens at least twice a year ) and four water filters – meaning that all pupils will have access to fresh clean water at school rather than drinking the dirty water out of the tap !
          We had big hopes that we would be able to purchase the water filters in time for world water day          ( 22nd March ) but the one shop which stocks them in Addis has unfortunately run out and not expecting another batch for another two weeks  - however, with their arrival, we will have our own English Alive water day !
The now working DIESEL bus !
          On the not so good side, trouble continues to brew with the threat of losing our grade compound.    The government recently changed the regulations, so that buildings can only be rented if they are legally formally owned by one person.
    Unfortunately, our grade compound belonged to the current owner’s mother who passed away and her children didn't take the necessary formal steps to change the name. With the current owner in Germany and not answering phone calls or texts, we are getting increasingly worried. Add to this the fact that he will need to get delegation from his sister in America ( whom he has fallen out with and refused to speak to anyhow ) then it is not looking very hopeful that he will contact her, get her permission and then come to Ethiopia to sort it all out !
              This means that our time at our current location is very limited. We have a wonderful compound in a lovely location at a price which we can just about afford. Moving means not only having to alter a compound into a school ( with the necessary additional toilets and eating room etc. ) but inevitably a higher rent and a six – nine months advance payment – a financial nightmare!
           The other problem this week was the school van. Fuel is a constant problem here in Ethiopia, with petrol and diesel often running very low, with only one petrol station having some left, meaning a queue of some hours before it completely runs out. 
          On the way to school on Monday, the driver visited the fuel station and was surprised to find the attendant ready to fill it up ( with labour being cheap, petrol stations in Ethiopia still have attendants to fill up your vehicle rather than the self service found in most parts of the world these days )
               However, after stuttering for a few metres, it soon became apparent that the diesel had indeed finished and that the attendant had simply switched to petrol instead. Petrol in a diesel engine is not good  - resulting in alternative transport for the children having to be sorted out, the petrol drained and the engine cleaned !
                  It was certainly a relief to reach the weekend and put the worries of school behind us for a couple of days ! Next week looks like being a more fun time, with World poetry Day Thursday and the ultimate thing in life to cheer up worried people – a clown from Holland ! 


  1. Congratulations on the donation from KLM! It's wonderful to receive one donation from an organization and when the organization gives again, it's a reflection not only on the vision and generosity of the donor, but also a reflection on the good work you do.