Madagaskar: Lynette’s Newsletter: Dust…

‘Dust to dust…bite the dust….let the dust settle‘, I forgot that there were so many ‘dust’ metaphors and we are experiencing all of them at the moment. We are surrounded by the literal variety mostly. The one that settles everywhere. The red dust at school is blown into every nook and cranny of the building. Bookcases are covered in plastic for protection, but unfortunately we cannot walk around in plastic bags and at the end of every day we are left with the fine, red powder even between our teeth.

The first retaining wall is coming along nicely and the rice bags are put to good use.
Randria arrived one day to help Norbert carry concrete.
The only place where the children can play for the moment, is the road and that makes for more dust.

At home, the red dust is replaced by cement dust as PM started replacing our leaking roof. It seems as if leaking roofs have been part of our life in Madagascar from the beginning. If I have to choose between dust and a leaking roof; no hesitation there that a dry house wins. Just hoping that it does not rain as we have no functioning roof at the moment.

It felt good to start with Royal Rangers again. We have to squeeze two to three patrols in one classroom, but nobody complains. I have my own patrol for the first time, the grade 5 boys and some of the grade 4’s. I was warned that they could be quite rowdy, but after a quick laying down of the rules, I had no issues with them and I look forward to what God will accomplish in their lives this year.

Euphrasie and I decided to go to Ampamata last week to assess the situation with Ledesy, the teacher about his going fishing during school hours. I went with an open mind, ready to hear his side of the story, but also ready for the possibility that he might have to leave. ‘Bite the dust’, so to speak. Well, that was not necessary in the end. We managed to settle the issue and I also thought that his brother, Leggy (yes, my thought too…interesting name), was a possible candidate for a new teacher next year. He really impressed me with his soft-spokenness. Lovako school is growing. There are 39 children this year and more to come. Euphrasie and I were only able to stay a few hours as we rented a speedboat, because Dries does not have time to get away. He asked me to take a walk around the school and record the state of the building. The structure and roof was perfect as we expected, but the ‘falafa’ or the part of the ravinala palm we had used, was in a very bad state. We decided that this was not a sustainable way to build in the future and we’ll replace all the walls with corrugated iron once there is more time and funds available. Euphrasie and I had a very positive meeting with the parents and the village is expanding as more people move there, because their children can now go to Lovako School.

Dries is doing all the preparation for the replacement of the roof of the new school which will be done in less than three weeks’ time. It is a huge roof and we’ll probably have to spend more on it than we budgeted. Dries also got hit by a flu going around and was quite ill yesterday. Please pray for him.

Have a blessed week.