Thanks be to Helena the lovely manager of the ELCIN Guest House who has allowed me to sit at her desk and zip this blog out to you all. I have my Nescafe, Gregory has tossed some laundry into the fanciest washing machine ever known to man -- we needed someone with an engineering degree to assist, but the closest person we had for this job was Brad Miller who was otherwise preoccupied helping Helena fix her latpop, but now this is getting done-- and so I am well tended to, and later today we will head over to the Nakambale Church Museum to view their exhibit.
Friday was Oshigambo High School Day and it was worth the whole trip. A platinum day in every way. Many of you know I have been looking forward, essentially for two years to meet Pastor Philuppus Henok, who has been our contact for this project. This happened just after breakfast as he met our group and took us to devotions with Bishop Nambala and the ELCIN staff team. A wonderful open air fellowship that started our day perfectly. After the readings and prayers and announcements, we were introduced and invited to sing. It was splendid.We made two key stops before getting to Oshigambo -- but I'll let Ethan share his views here and fill in more in his voice.
Our reception at Oshigambo was incredible. They did have a lyceum going on about HIV/AIDS for the whole school, but some learners -- those in the choir and those studying computer science were given their leave to be with us. We first viewed the computer science lab and saw our previously donated laptops in full use. Mrs. Alice Chizengeya is the computer science teacher and I showed her the print out of the thank you letter which reached us last fall. She gave me a huge hug and we shared a short cry. She spoke at length about how our previous shipment had come at just the right time. The learners have been full speed ahead in learning computer science and when Brad Miller slipped in close to view their work, they jammed in around him like he was a rock star!
Then on to the library, where Sarah is in charge. God be praised!
Our books were there and on the shelves. She's sorted them into: English Fiction, English Non-Fiction, and Reference. One room for each. Three rooms full of shelves of books floor to ceiling! Carol Hamilton, Ethan's Aunt, says it's the Dewey Decimal System she's got going there. It is BEAUTIFUL! All those encyclopedias, all those readers, all those novels, all those reference volumes.
Sarah explained she is working alone in getting all the volumes on the shelves, but she's a power house and she's got most of it conquered. And as she is the librarian, it's her system for choosing what she will focus on next. Plus, these are only half of the books which we sent last year, as the other half went to Oshigambo's sister school, Nkurenkuru, far to the east in the Kavango Region.
Lunch was prepared for us in the reading room. We ate with our colleagues and new teacher friends and Pastor Henok. And then it started to set in for me. That last year's effort had come full circle. The books and computers were there at Oshigambo and they were being cared for, well-used, and the hands of many learners were all over them. Lunch was tasting very good and I was slipping into a different state. Something I cannot explain . . . but which felt very comfortable and a little bit edgy.
After our lunch, as a word of thanks to our hosts, we sang the table prayer (deceptive cadence and all -- hello Ehler you are with us!). I smiled as we walked to the bus and went on to our next destination, tea at Pastor Henok's house. It was a day for the record books and Joey our bus driver was humming the Doxology.