Victoria's January Newsletter from Beira
Happy New Year to you all!
I hope you have all had a good start to 2011 so far.
The last I told you about were plans for New Year and the difficulty we had in finding fireworks – thankfully Alfredo found some and we managed to get them! the last week of December was supposed to be me helping plan new year, but alas, I succumbed to illness (as is usual in Christmas holiday time!!) and by the Wednesday evening I was feeling so bad that I agreed to go to the hospital the following day – I had the symptoms of malaria so had a malaria test but it was negative (we explained I was on anti malarial’s and they can disguise malaria when you have a test, but the doctor just told me to stop taking them!! I haven’t!) I was given some medication and I came home, I really wanted to go to the boys but Oliveira and Alfredo both said it would do me good to stay at home and rest, so I did!!
The next day was my birthday – Angelica and Oliveira were so good I had all my favourite food!! For breakfast, chips!! Lunch, I don’t know how to write it, but it is an African dish with rice and I just love it!! And in the afternoon I watched a film with Angelica, so a really lovely relaxing day (I didn’t go to the boys in the day because I still didn’t feel that well and I really wanted to go and see new year in with them).
In the evening we headed out to the boys – Culewa opened my door and said “Feliz Aniversario Mum” and a few others did too, the girls from Dondo joined with us too for the evening which was nice, we all sat down to watch a movie with popcorn, and the older ones were cooking chicken and rice for later. After the movie everyone came together and sang Happy Birthday to me (Portuguese and English!) and gave me a huge chocolate birthday cake and some of the boys had made surprises for me, which was lovely!
As midnight approached I gave them all some glow sticks, which were a big hit and then it was time for the fireworks!
Gradually over the course of the night, the children started going to sleep, some not long after midnight the latest some went to sleep was 3.00am, I however didn’t sleep and chatted with Monteiro (above right) until we started tidying up at 5.30am, after we watched a beautiful sunrise.
And so we start a new year!
January so far has been good, with the children enjoying the new play room, the art gallery has grown with the children very reluctant for me to take their pictures down for new ones, they all have to be up there! We have also had a couple of trips to the beach!
We have had two new members of staff join the team, Debra and Ismael. Debra is going to do some work in administration and Ismael is going to work with the boys as well as set up a pre-school to exist with the school on site.
School started back this last week, I am not sure really whether the boys are happy or not! Some attend school in the morning, some in the afternoon and we have a couple that go to school at night, so we also see the boys at different times of the day!
This last week m2o (my church) had a bucket collection for new clothes for the boys which they desperately need, and on Wednesday Alfredo and I went out to start the first purchases of the new clothes! They boys liked them and were saving them for best until we said they could wear them any time!
On Wednesday of this coming week I have two friends from church coming to visit the project, Dave and Simon. Dave has visited Casa Re’om several times before and it will be Simon’s first visit here. I am looking forward to seeing them, they are going to have my bedroom which as of now is still not fit for them to stay here!!! I have 3 sleeps to sort it out in!! Thank you to their families for also letting them come.
We have had some very wet days, my goodness when it rains here it really rains, roads and pavements are covered in water, people’s fields are drowned under all the water, and one night we came home to find water had got into the flat, fortunately everything was ok! We also have terrific thunder storms, people are more worried about them because they kill, and some of the younger boys couldn’t believe I was sat watching it, until the rain came!!!!!
I am excited about the new things starting, and how we can develop what has already started, I do face challenges but am trying to not let them get me down, and to rise above them! Some of them are challenges I never expected whilst some things I thought would be a problem haven’t been – it’s funny how things are not always what you expect!!
I hope you all have a good last week of January, and I will be in touch again soon
Victoria Saxby, 25/01/2011