Norbert and Antonin have suggested a couple of times that they were prepared to go to Ampamata for a week to help out at school, especially since we have not been able to go there. Euphrasie and I were also eager to be there for the start of the new school year and I was therefore so thankful when Liaan and Elizna agreed to take us to Ampamata on Monday. It was also an opportunity to put their new boat, ‘Seeperdjie’ (Sea Horse), through its paces. The trip which normally takes us about four hours, lasted less than an hour. Norbert remarked that he could get used to such an effortless means of transport.
There were thirty-one students and more are on their way. We have a record amount of thirteen Grade ones this year. Masilaza who was one of our first pupils, is also the first Grade 5 student and it is very special to me, because she has come a long way. The conditions under which these kids grow up, need to be experienced in order to comprehend it. Yet, I was once again amazed at how they thrive at school; mentally and spiritually. They know the Word and I watched their faces as Euphrasie taught the Bible lesson, totally absorbed in the moment.
As always, nothing is ever problem free. The new teacher who I was so excited about, changed her mind and Bruni the Grade 1 and 2 teacher will give birth to her first child in October which of course leaves two teachers to cope with everything. So, Euphrasie and I had to do some re-arranging and Hortencia and Saoviny will have to tread water for three months. It is going to be tough and therefore I hope that Dries will be back so that we will be able to go and help out. They need more desks and a black board as there are now so many children.
Patricia cooked crab for lunch and that was a nice way to end our short stay. Euphrasie and I returned with the boat. All in all, a productive day and such a blessing to share it with Liaan and Elizna.
The Saturday Rangers had their first meeting for the new school year and it is always a good idea to start it off with a celebration; congratulations to all our Bacc students who passed. Most of them passed the exam as Grade 11 students which made it an even bigger accomplishment. Naina is also amongst one of the top achievers on the island. Juvellain, Randria’s eldest son, will go to university in Majunga. I still remember him as that 5 year old who always sang the National Anthem at school in the mornings as if his life depended on it and completely out of tune. I know that God has a special plan for their lives.
The president of Madagascar announces the re-opening of its boarders in October whenever he visits a foreign country, which seems to be quite often. Here in Madagascar there has yet to be an official announcement from the government. We are all on edge, because we are not far from hitting the ten month mark since Dries has been stuck in South Africa. And the fact that more pressure is put on people to get vaccinated, also concerns us. The only assurance is that God is in control.
I was pleasantly surprised to notice that one of the female lemurs carried a little baby about a week ago. I was even more in awe when the other female also gave birth a few days after that. They still come for their daily treat of bananas and I feel so privileged to watch these little ones grow. They are for the most part just holding on for dear life onto their mothers’ bellies and look like bats.
Have a blessed week!
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