23rd September 2018
I will celebrate six decades of life on earth over the next week. It’s hard to believe that I have against all odds lived on since that dark day when I faced certain death in July 1985. My soul is overwhelmed with unspeakable joy and deep gratitude at the thought of how a mighty and merciful God stooped down from heaven to hear my feeble cry for help and lift me from the miry pit to set me on the rocky crags as sure footed as a mountain deer!
Paul gave me a voucher to buy three paintings of my choice from the African Art Gallery in Senegambia – woo hoo! I received beautiful birthday cards from Jordan and Rai. My best present was a non-material one though. It was from my firstborn son who whatsapped me with an extract from a Henry David Thoreau poem also quoted in one of my all-time favourite movies ‘Dead Poets’ Society’. He said that my approach to life and what that has taught him reminded him of the following:
‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner and reduce it to its lowest terms….’
Today I attended Sunday service at Glory Baptist Church in the Old Jeshwang district of the Gambia and what a glorious time of worship it was!
30th September 2018
Although I have loved teaching Junior School children all my life, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that I’m very happy in a High School environment and find it fun to work with teenagers as well.
7th October 2018
I rejoice in the amazingly adaptability of our tween (Rai) and our teenager (Jordan) who have both adjusted seemingly without so much as a hiccup to life in a totally new country on a completely unknown continent.
Jordan doesn’t want to give us the satisfaction of hearing him openly admitting that he likes living in The Gambia and complains that he has a ‘crap life’ in this ‘crap country’ and that he goes to a ‘crap school’ here. Paul and I are not too worried because these are the exact words he used to describe the British School in Colombo and his life in Sri Lanka over the past year….!
In actual fact, Jordan has made many friends on the beach, on the streets and in school and has let slip comments in unguarded moments (‘all the girls in class fancy me’!!) that show us that he really loves it here and is sucking up all the attention he gets like a vacuum cleaner!
Within three weeks of joining Marina International School, Jordan represented his house at their annual school Sports Meet taking part in a total of five races and relays – for which he was placed in second and third positions. He even very bravely opted to run the 800 metres when the Green House teacher asked for volunteers for it and no one else wanted to. Since he had not trained for long distance running, he ran the first lap too quickly and the second lap around the massive stadium nearly wiped him out – he came in 7th out of 8 competitors – but he did finish the course before collapsing in exhaustion!
Rai possesses a completely different kind of courage. While Jordan is reluctant to venture into some parts of the Wacky Warehouse after dark because it is such an old sprawling and spooky kind of building, Rai has no such problem. She is perfectly happy to stay home by herself because she has always had enough inner resources to enjoy her own company and is able to walk fearlessly into any corner of the house or garden at any time of day or night!