News

We’ve had an amazing time since the arrival of our shipping and we just wanted (rather than to ramble this time) to show you all 10 pictures of the beginning of the classroom set up. A way still to go but we’re really pleased with the progress.

We feel a little bit like this is the summer hoilday’s and we are setting up our classrooms for the beginning of a new term and a brand new class. Any teachers reading this will know what an exciting time that is and it is made all the more interesting by the lack of printers, laminators and photocopiers. You will see below hand made displays as well as donated resources from you wonderful people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would like to thank our schools for our wonderful leaving cards which you can see displayed in our cosy, little office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is clear to us that our school is a place that children want to be. As you can see in this picture of the kids on Sophie’s creative table and on the swings in our new playground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With regard to registrations we now have 7 completely confirmed registrations and have now given out 16 more to prospective parents. Zimbabwe is a last minute place so we’re expecting a rush in December before opening on Monday 7th January for our first term. We can take 60 children at One Way Pre School and we need a minimum of 35 to set ourself on a firm financial footing.

Please pray for:

1) Registration of children

2) Provision of remaining resources for school.

Thanks again for your continuing interest in One Way Pre School

Love Greg (& Sophie)

PS: @& ccocccco?,l.l”llhhuûikq – Love Clive (If you’re wondering how a cat can write a blog it simply means wandering around on an owners I pad whilst they are trying to work. He wants all the attention!)

We have now been here for over 12 weeks…and we feel at home! I am now at the stage where if we came back to England, we would find many things weird! It is nice to feel a sense of belonging and home here, which I am sure will be heightened when we move into our own cottage in 2 weeks.

I am also SUPER excited that my parents are coming to visit soon, we have a jam packed week planned for them and it will be lovely to spend time relaxing with company and enjoying the finer things Zimbabwe has to offer..like Elephants!

Today was a slow start, which then led to me running around the hotel searching for people who had seen the banner advertising the school, come in to look for it, then got lost! So I had to find them all then give them the now well rehearsed tour and spiel about the school! And praise be to God, we got 4 more registrations! We printed out 20 registration forms, and now have 1 left, which technically means we should have 19 children…we only have 4 confirmed, but at least 10 who we know are bringing the forms back. We are learning, that in Zimbabwe, there is a difference in timings. For example…

Just now – means could be whenever!
Now now – means now
5 minutes -means at least 15
30 minutes – means around 3 hours
I’m coming – means I’m somewhere in the vicinity but a few more phone calls will be needed, or a fork lift truck to come and get me, before I come and see you!

So although we have handed out many forms, we are anticipating a late December and even possibly January surge of applications. We are SO pleased that the Pre-School will be serving both the church and the local community. We have both really enjoyed spending time in the town getting to know people and discussing what we are here for and what our future here is like. So God is using us both in the school and in the community, which is nice!

Once we have opened the school, and settled into our cottage, and worked out a short term plan (do they even exist?!) I am hoping that we will be able to join in with some further projects. I have started to work with the Sunday School and am on the official rota to join the team so am looking forward to getting to know the young children through this also – there are at least 50 if not more children in this church. I am also really keen to start a babies/young children’s dance class, so am going to look into the technicalities of that! (I miss dancing!)

We are also still in the process of learning the language (not as quickly as Phil and Sue in Azer!) and we are often laughed at by our peers when we try and say words, but we are beginning to formulate some sentences, and can use some slang words! So people now tell us ‘ah you are now Zimbabwean’ which is also nice!

So please continue to pray – as we know you are – as we feel so blessed! The usual points still count, more registrations, resources need buying, our personal settling in to the community and language learning, and that we would continue to listen to God for our next steps.

We are so excited to be opening the school in January, it has been an experience!! Not many can say they have left home, left country, moved to Africa, built and opened a pre school from scratch…so thanks to God for sending us on such an exciting mission! Lets see where the next few months take us.

Much Love, God Bless,

Sophie xx Greg x Clive

Hey MATTY here again!

Thanks for your support of the ‘SAVE MATTY’ campaign. I believe we are now right up there with the infamous ‘Free the wetherfield one’ when Deirdre was imprisoned in Coronation Street and a bit more successful and less dramatic.

I’m afraid I haven’t been let loose yet though! The document that Greg and Sophie needed to find has been found and submitted from the South African shipping company. But unfortunately the ‘bear’ from NOT ‘Bear’Bridge has to send the money he owes through his sheer incompetence.

Despite this I am hopeful I will be freed this week because for every day that I sit here the bear owes more and more money in storage fees. When I arrive with my wonderful owners I will post some pictures of my joyous home coming!

Peace out faithful readers,

Love MATTY the super dooper memory foam mattress topper!

Hi everyone my name’s Matty!

I’m Greg and Sophie’s super dooper memory foam mattress topper. I was bought as a Christmas present by Greg’s Mum and Dad and I’ve solved all of Sophie’s nighttime back problems which is probably the reason why they decided to ship me for their adventure to Zimbabwe. The only thing is this journey did not start well and hasn’t been the smoothest. Shall I start at the beginning?

It was during the London Olympics and the donated resources from the shipping had filled 7 of the 8 boxes that they had bought so Josie came up with a suggestion. “Why don’t you ship your mattress?” she asked Sophie in an excited manner. My mind filled with dread! I hate water I was thinking and I was sure I would never cope with those choppy seas. I had heard previously that this journey only takes 40-45 days so I was OK with that as a plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So in to the box I was stuffed without a care in the world, wrapped around a canvas of Greg and Sophie and some pretty candles. Sure they’re safe but all that is saving me is this very questionable big yellow self storage extra large box. Not a great start. Still I heard that this very day I would be on my way. Unfortunately for me and the disgust of my owners the numpty freight company arrived with a small van which I heard Sophie affectionately refer to as “they did a Mike” (which refers to when we were all moving from our first flat and Mike hired a van smaller than a fiesta to move our furniture) “it’ll never fit in that car!” Greg shouted at Sophie from the study. Sure enough this intellectually challenged driver tried to put the large boxes into his Vauxhall Zafira despite the queries coming from Sophie and mainly Greg. Sure enough this didn’t work and this was the start of my journey.

My owners probably should have questioned the sanity of sending me all that way when this competence continued with the next driver bringing what must have must have been a stolen DHL van to pick me and the rest of my inanimate object friends on our journey to Harare. Still only 45 days (at the most) to go, right?

Anyway after a rather uneventful and sickening 3 weeks at sea, we arrived at the South African port of Durban. This was a welcome relief because I really could not stand hearing “Candle in the wind” coming from those candles I was wrapped around. An Elton John classic maybe, but try listening to it muffled for 3 weeks out to sea? I nearly squashed him to death a number of times but I’m a gentle kind mattress.

 

 

 

Next the trouble really started. In Durban we were treated to the news that a truck driver strike meant a cold, dark, dingy stay in an uninspiring warehouse. I am now struggling to settle down at night, insomnia from boredom has set in and I’m really starting to lose it!

 

 

 

It’s now been 8 weeks since I was comfortably stretched out over the large bed at 60 Kendale Road and I’m starting to look scruffy….come on how do you look without a shave for this long? My beard is proper itchy! We have recieved news that we will be on an overnight vehicle to some horrendous place named Beitbridge. It sounds like it is actually the end of the earth and the scooter in my box is worried that Beitbridge may in fact be full of bears and recalls a bloody story of a bear killing a defenceless mattress. The scooter dramatically recalls a time he saved a cat from an attack of rabid dogs due to his speed and finesse but we are almost certain that he was exaggerating! It is well though because a clever pack of pencils below me says that it is in fact the Zimbabwean border and assures me that bears aren’t resident to that area.

At Beitbridge I am appointed chief spokesman (to try to get us out of this mess and back to our owners) but I’m greeted by a man who is even more incompetent than the numpty with the stolen DHL van. His name I will not mention but this man takes a grand total of 17 phone calls to me, 5 of which are about the same thing and a total of 2 and a half weeks just to clear our goods through customs. I wish I’d never agreed to be our boxes contact because his dulcet tones are not good for my ever decreasing ability to hear properly. A trip to the mattress ear doctor is surely in order… Finally we are on our way from Not Bear-Bridge as the pencil packet (named Obadiah by the way) affectionately calls it and zooming towards Harare, the wind in our ‘hair’ and the sun on our faces! We inform all our friends via our hilarious, yet informative blog and twitter feed that our journey is nearly over and that all our transport costs are paid! We are SO excited!

That is until we arrive in Harare where disaster strikes, despite 80 days in this leaky, smelly box, and Greg and Sophie paying yet MORE money, we are stuck here for two ‘very important’ reasons. One an original document we were never given and two a payment that our incompetent ‘bear’ at the border failed to pay.

So frustrating.

 

 

I can hear the handsome Greg, he is so close to me to take me home but through ridiculous politics I hear him drive away…”noooo” we all cry. Still we wait….still we cry!

 

 

 

 

The nightmare is not over! We appear destined for another weekend in a disgusting warehouse before we can achieve our God given purposes! I love Greg and Sophie. They’ve done all they can, we’ve been patient and never moaned or complained, we understand our role here but if only the unrelenting shipping companies understood theirs, then this may have all been over for me and my friends weeks ago!

Peace out and God Bless you all!

Love Matty the memory foam mattress topper!

It’s raining, and my jobs for the day are outside! So whilst i wait for it to stop, i thought I would have a small ramble! This month we will have been living in Zimbabwe for 100 days…and to celebrate, my parents will be visiting! What a lovely treat that will be! (until they start telling me off for a messy room etc!!) what a whirlwind it has been up to this point, SO much to be thankful for and to praise god for. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us as we continue our journey with him. I now have Clive the cat climbing up my back and trying to use his paws to input into the post. So I shall leave and continue to update later!
God Bless,
Soph xx

So today has been a fantastic day. Extremely hot, and very windy, but we have spent the majority of it inside our Grade Zero classroom! Painting and decorating has begun!

Here is Classroom 1 – Grade Zero before….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is how it looks now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We LOVE it! The colour was a yellow before…but looking at the comparison, it looks as if the room was never yellow in the first place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So tomorrow we will be giving some parts a second coat, and then begin gloss painting the window frames and doors. We also hope to clean and begin painting classroom 2 – which will be blue!

It’s been a joy to spend time together today painting and listening to music and discussing the future of the project and the possibilities for us. I’m very glad that God has given us this mission as a partnership – it’s a lot more fun doing something with your best friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for all your support, this week has been a mix match week and we value your comments. Check back soon for some more photos! (techincally I should be uploading photos to a gallery page, but my technophobe self can’t seem to work it out!!)

God Bless,

G&S x

So today has been one of those days, so much potential…then nothing. We woke up with a list of jobs for the day and felt good after a relaxing evening and a good nights sleep.

First up, buy paints for decorating the classrooms and toilets. So we jumped in the car, we have previously been to the warehouse and had a quote so needed to go via the bank first to withdraw enough money. Got to the bank, only our cash card had insufficient funds on it, so that plan has had to be put on hold until tomorrow.

Second, meet with Pastor Gatsi and Pastor Musora. This was scheduled for the afternoon, however it soon became evident it had never been scheduled and the Pastor was stuck in a meeting with someone else. So plan 2 got halted, and hopefully on hold until tomorrow.

Thirdly, we wanted to wire brush the walls of the classrooms and toilets to prepare the walls to be painted. Problem – Wire brushes are gone. We specifically bought 2 last week in order to carry out this job, but between now and then, someone has walked off with them. Plan 3 out the window.

After a day yesterday of sitting waiting for shipping companies to contact us – which took a huge chunk of the day and meant we couldn’t leave our room or the building- and then another day today possibly turning into a second of sitting on our bed in our one room waiting for something that could be nothing- I decided to put my determined face on and search for the brushes. I eventually persuaded the security guard to help and he unearthed one of them – the second is nowhere.

So I have spent a little time brushing, now Greg is doing the same. It’s a change from sitting looking at 4 walls.

It’s becoming quite frustrating to keep reaching a point where we think – Great! We can do the rest ourselves! Only to then find other things which need other people to do, leading us back to a state of sitting and waiting for someone else to do their job (and slowly!).

So we have spent much of the time beginning to write up the documents we will need for the school – including registration forms, policies, home/school agreements and curriculum ideas. So being forced to sit and wait, has helped in some way to get these documents done.

But as you can see, an anti climatic day! So I am now going to heat up some water to wash in before the electricity goes, then decide on whats for dinner and pray tomorrow is a successful and fulfilling day!

We were fortunate today to be taken by Pastor Taaso to his mother in laws school which benefited us to see a different day care center in action and take a look at their paperwork also. He then took us to his house…which it turns out I have been to before! Along with my parents and sister, in 2007! They did not remember the visit however, so I promised I would find the picture. So here it is! In 2007…and now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

Please keep in contact, we value correspondence highly!!

God Bless, G&S x

We had some good news on the permit for the school today. I think it was getting lost in a filing system but we’ve managed to get the same lady who we gave to to in the government building to re-write the document for us- Praise God.

Still some issues with our shipping but we are confident that we will be able to get that soon.

Hope everyone is well!

G&S x

Last Sunday I decided to tell the church why it is we’re actually here. Strange thing you may think after 6 weeks but they’ve been told we’re opening a pre school but I don’t think they quite understood the circumstances. (Maybe some thought we’re two obscenely rich white English people who fancy giving a bit of time and money to an African project.) It was amazing to share how we believe this to be a very clear calling upon our lives. Something we’ve been asked to do here and something that God has sent us to achieve. When we told them we currently have no timeline but are keen to be spirit led and we’ll be here as long as God wants us to be we had a great response. Many people came up to us to tell us what a wonderful testimony our story is and how blessed they are to have us. It’s amazing to feel so supported here and I couldn’t feel luckier. Apparently we’re a blessing to them but we feel so blessed just being here it is quite an adventure.

One of the challenges we will have with our school is that all schools are fee paying, we are currently battling with decisions of costs considering that we need this school to support itself but we want to minister to as many children as we can. 60 to be precise as that would be 2 classes! Please pray that His will is done with regard to school fees.

If you are interested in maybe sponsoring an orphan to go to school as a church or as a family then we’d love to receive an e.mail. Our dream is to be able to offer education to those who would otherwise have no access to it at all. For some here school really is a distant dream and for many their parents buy nothing else but food and pay for school fees.

If you have read this then send us a message. We love receiving messages, the contact really does mean a lot to us and if you’d like me to send you the talk I wrote for Sunday then I’d be delighted to send that too.

God Bless you!

Greg (and Sophie)

Well it’s a landmark week as we hope to have the building work, plumbing and electricity all sorted in the new school building this week.

We’re really excited about this stage because it means we can really start on our own developments. We really want to get painting and decorating and planting some pretty flowers around the school to make it all look very appealing, also many schools don’t really go down the display route so we’re excited to develop our classrooms. Any teachers reading this will know how nice it is to have your own classroom to make exciting.

Other things in the pipeline is the beginning of the advertising for the school. We have purchased a road sign, banner for the entrance, business cards, posters and leaflets and we’re hoping up to 60 children will sign up

And here it is! One Way Pre School!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please do keep messaging us, every single one is an extra bit of encouragement.

Prayer points are we still need our shipping to arrive safely and to find some money for the remaining resources, playground equipment and all the things we’d love to have for outdoor learning (something they don’t really do here)

Check back soon for more updates.

God Bless, G&S x

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