Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Experiences

Tuesday 17th June

I am very aware of the huge contrast between life in England and that in Zambia.

Last Thursday we visited a school in Oxford were my friend John teaches. The school has extensive grounds with football pitches, tennis courts etc. Well equipped classrooms with various items of technology are standard – computers are used as a matter of course, as we found out when we joined a french class. There were several music rooms with various instruments available for the students and even a recording studio! I couldn't help comparing this school with Lushomo in Monze where there were no tables or chairs and where buying enough chalk was a major issue!

Jennipher talked to some of the students who were interested in her life and work in Zambia. We then made our way into the city along the river where we watched young people rowing. In the centre we looked around some of the impressive buildings and pleasant parks, we climbed a church tower for a better view of Oxford. Jennipher is enjoying her experience in England – she was particularly pleased to visit Oxford which was the place named on some her her books when she was at school many years back!

John joined us after he had finished at school and he led us to an inn on the river. He asked me where I thought we should sit and I suggested a table near the river in the sun would be ideal. We headed for the river and as we approached the customers at a table at the riverside freed it for our use – we couldn't have found a more suitable table. We had a very pleasant meal in the evening sun to conclude a lovely visit.

On Friday we returned to Wales – this time to meet the volunteers and trustees from Hands Around the World. Jennipher gave a moving talk about her life in Zambia and met people from Hands Around the World including David and Jim who she knew from their visits to Zambia.

While I attended the trustees meeting Dilys took Jennipher to Raglan castle which she found interesting.

The World Cup has started!! Jennipher enjoys watching the games when she gets the chance. Dilys has been recording the matches – despite the fact that she doesn't enjoy watching sport herself. It is therefore wall to wall football here when Jennipher is at home!!

On Saturday Dilys took Jennipher to our church where they were doing a “Stitch and Pray” session. Jennipher learnt to knit and now spends much of her time knitting while watching the football! She seems much too good at knitting for it to have been her first experience!

On Sunday we went to St. Gregory's church and met some of the parishioners over coffee. In the afternoon Barby and Cheyenne, Andy, Tracy, George and Charlie joined us for a barbecue and Paul and Jess came later. Jennipher has known about the family over many years – seeing photos, now she was able to meet them properly.

Yesterday Dilys took Jennipher to Gloucester to visit the hospital. When I asked Jennipher how she found it she said she was amazed that everything was provided – women giving birth didn't need to bring any bowls and patients could choose what food they wanted! She was saying today that because Selina was in hospital for a few weeks with a broken arm some years back she missed important schooling and as a result lost a year. She was impressed that our children can continue their education whilst in hospital.

It has been busy, with new experiences every day for Jennipher. It is a delight to have her with us – she is so easy, enjoying trying different foods and taking in the new environment.

Today Jennipher is having her portrait painted by an artist friend. Unusually the artist wants to pay for the privilege! I hope to be able to have some good quality prints produced.


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