|One hot Ann sorting 'stuff'.|
I arrived in Sierra Leone after an uneventful and peaceful journey with Kofi and 40 boxes of supplies provided by friends and supporters!
We got to Maronka at about 1 a.m. and the welders were still working on the house, so after checking out the work in progress it was decided I should sleep in the school for all the usual health & safety reasons. I can report however that things are going well and my room is now complete.
|Isata working with Ann on unpacking boxes.|
In the morning, after drinking water from the well that many of you contributed to, I met my deputy Isata. I also met some of the girls who will be staying with us, attended a staff meeting at the school and met most of the villagers before departing again for Freetown to pick up supplies.
I have some adapting to do..... an enormous spider in my bedroom this morning was kindly taken out by Moses; it’s an hour’s walk to the nearest village to get supplies; it's hot & humid as its the end of rainy season, and for those of you who know me well will know I rarely drink cold drinks or have ice, well I really could do with some now................
Other than those few little concerns I love waking up to silence, then birds and then children laughing and chatting ready for school. The view from the house is green and beautiful. Tonight I went to watch the children dance, after a hard week studying they were dancing for hours and I have never seen so many happy children dancing with joy and abandon, so beautiful to see.
|Welding work well on its way.|
I have been busy meeting all the girls who will come and stay with us in the house and listening to some of their stories which are heartbreaking. I have had to get my head round stories of terrible abuse, female circumcision, abandonment to list just a few e.g. one girl who lives with her aunt sent a message to us at the school asking us to intervene and get her released from her chores to come to school. Her aunt had her selling palm wine and refused to let her come back for the new term.
Another little lad pleaded to come and live in the school because his parents had both died and he was living on his own. After a few enquiries, it turns out that his mother is indeed dead but that his father has just disappeared since the mother died and left him and his sister alone - some neighbours were keeping an eye out for them but have few resources themselves.
......and so on and so on.....
So we are hoping to make life a little easier for the girls and provide some stability and love for as long as we can. We have 2 volunteers signed up to join us in December and January so if you know of anyone else who would be interested from March 2012, please do get in touch.
I would like to thank everyone for their support for the girls and myself, especially in the last few weeks before my departure to SL. Myself, Miriam and Isata will send you our news and updates as and when we have access to the internet.
Thank you to so many for so many different contributions: 52 dresses, 30 scrapbooks, Maria for Jewellery lessons and materials, Hayley for her patience and much needed shopping skills, Vanessa, Helena and Ann B for their patience accepting, storing and delivering parcels. Several box seats sponsored, numerous donations, so many gifts bought from the Amazon wishlist and so on.....
Once we have had time to think, we will update the Amazon wishlist so that people can continue to send gifts or pass on the list to others if they wish. Although this has been a huge success, we are mindful that many of you have items in your homes which you would normally donate to charity and we would request that if you have you, think of us first and foremost as I have to say that looking around I am saddened that there is still so much poverty in Sierra Leone today, despite much progress in some areas.