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SIX MONTHS HAVE NOW PASSED since the security crisis in April, when so many fears were expressed for our safety here at Sakeji. We can only express our thanks and praise to God for His goodness in protecting us all during those uncertain months. We received His assurance then that we should not fear, but should carry on with what has been established for so long here at Sakeji. We can never be sure of the future, but we are reminded of the words of Jesus: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Troubles continue in Angola, and things are by no means settled in the DRC, despite the signing of a peace agreement at the end of August. So we remain vigilant.
The Memory Tree
I saw something! Small, green and shiny. There it was, a leaf from the memory tree. I picked it up and scrunched it up. I said I want to remember when we played in snow two feet deep. I was only three and the snow was quite deep for me.
Suddenly I remembered. That day the whole neighbourhood was outside. That is, everyone on Inglewood Drive. Even Doctor Dave was out. Doctor Dave is my favourite doctor. I made an igloo but it fell down as soon as I went in. I got out quickly. I had already learned enough about suffocating. Then we threw snowballs at each other. Valentine the dog joined in. Then we went on the sleigh. Katy and Anne fell over. Then we had a cup of hot chocolate. We had a good time.
Our term has progressed smoothly and the children's achievements have been evident in all areas of curricular and extra-curricular activity. Grades 1 and 2 have had 'transport' as a topic, Grades 3 and 4 visited the Hillwood Coffee Plantation and Grade 5 will visit a Lunda village. Grades 6 and 7 studied World War 2 in History and had the privilege of visiting speakers who are old enough to remember the war.
Swimming Sports were held as usual on the Independence Day holiday, and that was a good day for all, including ten brave parents, visitors and staff members who swam in a relay against the children. Such an event certainly serves to remind us that advancing years have their effect on our physical powers! The theme for our birthday party was Bible Stories, so the children entertained us with skits from the Bible and all the staff were required to come dressed as a character from the Bible, much to the enjoyment of the children.
The Grade 7 pupils have just finished writing the national Grade 7 exams. We wish them well, especially those who expect to go on to government secondary schools next year.
We are grateful to Mr Andy Patching, who visited during the term. He carried out dental checks and gave treatment as necessary. We do however ask you to make other arrangements for dental treatment in the future because we do not know if or when Mr Patching will be able to make another dental visit.
STAFF. We are glad to have 13 staff members again this term. At the end of term we say goodbye to Dennis and Miriam Brubacher, who return to Canada after a fine commitment of 19 years to Sakeji. The Brubachers will take with them the memories of many, many Sakeji children, and the joy of having contributed to the development and spiritual growth of these children over the years. They will also take with them the memories of raising their own three children, Julie, Mark and Jeanette here at Sakeji. There will be an opportunity for parents to express their appreciation and to say goodbye at breakup.
A special word of thanks must also go to Cameron and Rachel Smith, who responded to our need and stayed on for an extra term to help us. In December they will return to the UK and then home to New Zealand.
One day I decided to remember something. So crunched up the memory leaf and began to think about the day I was tubing behind our boat. I could remember getting on the tube and saying, RIUm ready!S to the driver.
We took off like a bullet. We travelled out to the middle of the lake. The boat swerved and I went out to one side of the boat. The the boat swerved the other way and as I was swinging to the other side I hit the wake and ramped off it. I did this about five more times. Sometimes I fell off.
Then we sped away around the edges of the lake. Then we stopped at our house for some breakfast. We went right back again but this time with my brother and two cousins. We did it for a lot longer.
The Terrys are on leave this term and next, and are enjoying their time in the UK. Miss Margie Young will be staying on at Sakeji until the end of 2000. We all appreciate her gracious and competent commitment to the school, particularly to Grades 6 and 7 who have had her as a class teacher since May.
We wish we could give you more information about how we will be staffed next term, but there are too many uncertainties at the moment.
PROJECTS. Thanks to Mr Smith, the Administration Building is close to completion now and we are expecting to move in and start using the building during the Christmas holidays.
Mr Brubacher has been supervising the building or several smaller structures, planned both for the 75th Anniversary and for visitors at other times. There is now a large thatched shelter next to the dining room. This will be used for overflow catering and other purposes. Five small low-cost thatched chalets are now being built for visitors accommodation, and parents will also benefit at the beginnings and ends of terms. We are grateful to Mr Brubacher for his creativity in planning these, and for being willing to proceed with the building at a time when he is also packing up to leave.
The hall ceiling is being finished off and the effect is very pleasing.
Matthew F. Raymond
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