It seems that things are always changing. It is a constant challenge to make sure we are moving forward. Two months ago, a new teacher started at Appleseed. We thought she would be a wonderful addition to the staff. She was a Zambian trained teacher, which we felt we needed. We had hired her to teach Literacy and be a coach and lesson planner for our other teachers. Well.... the best laid plans do not always work out the way you hope they will. While Agnes was a good teacher, it was difficult for her acclimate and fit in to this new environment. She was initially planning to move closer to Bauleni, but when she decided not to make that move, she had a hard time getting to work. At just about the time we were deciding what to do, as we did not want to put her out of work but we also needed to be able to rely on teachers to be there, Agnes decided to quit. She called one day, and said that she could no longer work at Appleseed. This was a bit of a load off of my mind; however, it left us with a critical position to fill. Mary set out once again to find a teacher. She hired a young man named Vincent. Now we have 2 Vincents working at the school. We have seen him with the children, and he seems like he will be a good addition ... but as with everything time will tell.
The music and sports programs are going very well. We have two men from the Zambian Vocal Collection, a famous Zambian singing group, come to our school every Wednesday and Friday, to teach choir lessons. We are working towards the students performing for a holiday fundraiser at the beginning of December. We purchased three Zambian drums for the school as well. The children love to sing and it is so nice to hear the beautiful music coming from the building! In addition, two very good soccer coaches come out and train our kids in soccer 2 days per week. They are excellent coaches who played professional soccer in South Africa! Right now we are playing for the pure fun of the game and to get some exercise, but we would eventually love to have an actual team. The kids are pretty good players!
There are some exciting changes happening with the school building this week. The land lady is having ceiling boards put in and she is having the inside of the school walls plastered so it does not just look like cinder block walls. We have closed the school for three days so that the work can be done. We should also have electricity hooked up this week. We are very happy about this work, but also a bit concerned that she may raise the rent!
We were able to visit another community school today. It is always nice to see what others are doing. It reminds us that we have a very nice place, with very kind and loving teachers, and that we all do the best that we can for these beautiful children.
We still have hopes of purchasing land and building a school. We feel that this will be the key to sustainability. We continue our fundraising efforts with this goal in mind. But, in the meantime, we are very grateful for what we do have and for what we are able to provide for children of the Bauleni Housing Compound.
Ken and Joy Hoffman. See the'Who We Are' page.