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Report by Andrea Aspden and Lynda Askew  on their visit to Bethany July - August 2014 Here is a brief outline of what we observed and took part in whilst we were at Bethany. It's probably a bit short but I've found it really difficult to explain to people what it's like as you have to be there and see the atmosphere, environment etc. We finally arrived at Mwanza airport, where WWI celebrations were taking place, and were immediately greeted by the smiling faces of Fatuma and Daniel. As we had already spent the previous evening in Dar Es Salaam we had no immigration to contend with. This was quite lucky really as due to the celebrations, there was nobody around! We travelled to Bethany and were again greeted by an abundance of smiling faces of the children. What a welcome! We quickly ate our already prepared meal and then went to evening worship. We gave a brief outline of who we were and what we would be doing at Bethany. Emma and Jessca made us feel very welcome in our accommodation. The new block is lovely although the toilet position was interesting and you have to be particularly quick when using it as the lid is soon closing on you! On our first morning we were straight into our work. We thought we were helping to teach the youngest of the children but to our surprise we were the main teachers. Fortunately, we could just about manage it and mainly worked on numeracy and literacy. The first day was a little unplanned shall we say but set about teaching the children a new song - 5 little speckled frogs. We decided to continue each day on a repetitive teaching approach to help embed basic number and letter formation. Dependant on the child's ability and age, we used dotted numbers and letters that the children could trace and for the more able wrote their names for them to learn how to write. We used a variety of other resources we had taken with us such as pictures with numbers and letters on for the children to colour. Some of the children were particularly enthusiastic so we asked then to start writing the colours they had used using clues that were already around the classroom. They also had started to complete basic mathematical sums and we used seeds to help them count and answer the question. They were brilliant! The children could be heard humming 5 little speckled frogs whilst they were completing their work. By the end of the 2nd week, the children came into class, sat down and were ready to learn as they knew what was next. We even managed to cut down the toilet breaks. The children were delighted when we stuck their work on the wall and worked harder each day so their's could be the next to be displayed. Mins a and Candice were amazing in helping us. The children really respond to them and I hope that they carry on their good work. Each day we played afternoon games using equipment we had taken out with us. The most simplistic things were appreciated. We played with the parachute, team games and maze puzzles. Both the children and us were exhausted playing in the sun. We completed some simple craft ideas such as colourful scratch cards for bookmarks and paper planes. It was a joy to see how grateful the children were and watching them run around the site for hours with their paper planes. During our free time, we spent time talking to the children. It was mainly the younger children who came to speak to us and played at hairdressers with our hair. Our observations whilst we were wandering about the site and talking was that the older boys are becoming resentful that the main focus appears to be around the girls. Maybe more fun, focused activities with the boys or more vocational type visitors would be of benefit to them to share hands on activities rather than just school work. It's just a thought. The worship time was particularly uplifting. The children are clearly thankful and grateful for everything. The singing and dancing was beautiful and will stay with us forever. It was good to see that they can clear the air each evening with any concerns they have. There are clear boundaries and Daniel is quickly "on it" if these are broken. On the whole, they do show respect to each other but the older boys less,so. Daniel And Eliada have a thankless task. They are constantly bombarded with challenges from either the children, school or the villagers. We take our hats off to them. They show a lot of patience but also have a strong sense of control of what is going on where and with whom. We spoke to them about a couple of children and they had a real understanding of each child's needs and strengths. Emma and Jessca are starting their long journey in setting up the school. They are beginning to embed some of the strategies gained in the UK but they need to understand it isn't going to happen overnight! Every evening we were visited in the accommodation block by cries of "Sister Jessca, Sister Emma!" Emma was constantly planning her lessons and Jessca was busy trying to sort everyone out! Overall our time there was awesome! It was a pleasure to be part of the Bethany family even if only for a short time! We had lots of giggles whilst we were there. We really miss everyone, we miss the simplicity of life and we miss the environment. It was inspiring, thought provoking and the most heart warming of experiences. We will be back! Regards Andrea and Lynda