VISIT TO BETHANY – JULY 2019 by Peter and Kim Rawlinson Saturday 20th July 2019 Flights all on time with Ethiopian Airways.  Seating and service ok.  E-Visa received without question at immigration – separate counter for e-visas.  Clouds of insects at Mwanza airport and hotel made it impossible to sit outside at night. Sunday 21st July 2019 Picked up by Jesca and Mwita from hotel on time.  Picked up Elizabeth, Anna, Mariam and Edina at market and then stopped at another village market to buy pineapples and watermelons for Bethany children.  Arrived to warm welcome and familiar faces.  Stella also at Bethany.  Mwita gave us a tour of site and progress since last visit and talked about priorities for this week.  Ate dinner with children and lovely evening service – made to feel very welcome. Monday 22nd July 2019 Joined Nursery class for Phonics, Kim read a story to the children, then sums and a lesson by Elizabeth on words with the “ee” sounds.  Very neat handwriting by children.  Peter led a lesson on “land transportation” and the children then copied the words into their books.  Afternoon preparing evening bible class for Standard 6.  Took photographs of choir children, dinner (poached eggs on toast).   Evening worship led by Esther Jackson and then Bible Study with Standard 6.  Children had really good knowledge of Moses, his life and the miracles God performed through him.  Made mini Moses baskets. Tuesday 23rd July 2019 Peter and Jesca out for early morning run.  We then joined Reception class.  Led a session on Parts of the Body and then taught the children a song “I am a friend of God” which progressed into dance competition.  As last year, not enough pencils for class (same in nursery).  We had brought pencils with us so gave the extra to the teachers.  Had fish and chips for lunch – Kulwa is a good cook and very helpful.  Prepared bible study in afternoon.  Site team making good progress all day in taking down roof in girl’s dormitory.  Took further photographs of choir members and joined evening service.  Bible study with Standard 6 on the ‘Crucifixion’ with questions for children to answer.  Children displayed good knowledge and listened well to the reading.  Then children coloured-in perspex crosses with stands for them to keep.  Wednesday 26th July 2019 Peter, Jesca and Kim out for early morning run.  Contractor on site early and made good progress during day.  We joined Standard 1 classroom.  Really good to see the progress that some of the children had made since we last saw them in Reception.  Read a story to children, explaining difficult words and spellings and then answered questions from the children, followed by 1:1 guided reading.  Really good team in this classroom – main Teacher good at maths, great preparation and energy.  Teaching Assistant – better at English tasks.  Prepared bible study and sports day programme (with help from Rose).  Rice and beans/cabbage for tea.  Then evening service and bible study with Year 4 girls on the Parable of the Sower and made sunflowers out of tissue paper. Dotto James emotional as sunflower not perfect (made her one the next day to compensate) Thursday 27th July 2019 Peter and Jesca out for early morning run.  Breakfast chatting with Elizabeth about life outside Bethany.  Then joined Standard 2.  Very impressed with Edina who was supporting the class.  Edina has just finished Form 6 and is hoping to get a government grant to go to University to get a degree in Teaching.  She seems to want to teach at Secondary school.  Sophia and Fatuma came to Bethany for a short time to see the girls and invited us to Forever Angels next Wednesday on our return journey to Mwanza.  First day that Emmakalata was seen in Bethany since brief chat at school on Monday morning and we asked after her family as we had not yet met Bethany.  Prepared bible study in the afternoon.  Evening service, Peter led prayers, then wonderful bible study with Standard 3 and Standard 4 boys.  They were so attentive and polite and, as expected, showed us how to pray.  Made and decorated prayer boxes for them to keep.  Chatting with Jesca and Stella until bedtime. Friday 28th July 2019 Peter and Kim out for early morning run.  Jesca went to Mwanza on motorbike to meet with Nkamba.  Joined Standard 3 for ‘filling the gaps’ maths lessons.  Taught children the poem to remember the number of days in each month and how to recognise a leap year.  Also repeated this lesson after break with Standard 4.  Both male teachers enthusiastic and well-liked by class.  Male academic teacher also came in to observe the class.   Potatoes for lunch and further preparation for tomorrow’s sports day.  Evening service and enjoyable time spent talking to the children before movie night started. Saturday 29th July 2019 Sports Day.  Everyone assembled at the Visitor’s house at 9.00 am and we split into teams.  Much better this year as cooler in morning.  25 separate races of running, sack race and tug of war finishing at 11.30 am.  Local villagers also came to watch.  Children enjoyed themselves and all got stickers for participating.  Afternoon preparing for evening bible study.  Some children with HIV clinic visits today.  Emmakalata’s husband has malaria and is on a drip at hospital.  Elizabeth and Celine took food for family to hospital this afternoon.  Older Bethany boys arrived to play a football match against the local village.  Went with older girls to support.  Really good match, Mwita was the captain, both sides took the game really seriously.  One Bethany Boy injured and ref called for stretcher.  Auntie Winnie ran onto pitch, picked boy up and carried him off.  First aid and he was fine.  Bethany Boys won 1-0.  Then quick tea and bible study with Standard 7 at their request – made moses baskets and prayer boxes. Sunday 29th July 2019 Peter early morning run.  Sunday service led by Daudi.  Peter preached on theme of “Reaching out to God” and Kim and Joash did a reading.  All Choirs performed and were amazing.  Older Bethany Boys also got involved.  Stella led the prayers and Elizabeth led a worship song.  Relaxing afternoon spending time with children.  Mwita and Maegi invited us to watch a local football match within the league so we went with him.  Then took group photograph of choir in outfits and took height and shoe measurements.  Evening worship followed by bible study with Year 3 girls based on Zacchaeus climbing the tree to meet Jesus. We then decorated trees with felt tips and stickers for the children to keep.  Peaceful night (no dogs, music, girls chatting etc). Monday 30th July 2019 Peter early morning run joined by 3 village boys maybe aged about 18.  Elizabeth leaving for Mwanza so exchanged emails and said our goodbyes.  Spent morning with Standards 5 and 6, with mathematics taught by Mr Alfred.  1 teacher off sick and Emmakalata also not in school as problem with hands.    Good explanation of concepts – prime numbers with Standard 5 and rules for angles when you have parallel and tranverse lines for Standard 6.  Afternoon preparing bible study for standard 2. Chicken for tea (with local delicacy of chicken anus).  Then evening service followed by bible study with Standard 2.  Read pop-up storybook of Noah’s Ark which the children loved and then made elephant and tiger masks. Chatting with Jesca and Stella before bedtime Tuesday 31st July 2019 Peter and Jesca early morning run (13 laps).  We then joined Standard 7 for mathematics lesson with Mr Alfred.  Moved onto Reception and told the story of the Lost Sheep – then made sheep out of cotton wool balls.  Went to older Toddlers and then younger Toddlers and did Noah’s Ark story for both classes.  Afternoon preparing bible study for evening.  Evening service and then bible study with Standard 1.  Read Noah’s Ark again and made zebra, lion and giraffe masks for children to keep.  Assisted by Esther Jackson and said our goodbyes to children Wednesday 1st August 2019 Up early as Bethany girls were waiting for us with cards.  Plasterers had arrived on site to complete pitched roof in girls’ dormitory.  Left at 10.00 am with Mwita driving, Stella also going home today.   Exchanged grateful thanks after being dropped back at hotel for quick bite to eat and much needed sleep.