• 11Jun

    We’re back!

    After a lengthy haitus—during which we went to the beautiful, lovely, fun, and unforgettable wedding of Jen & John Hassett…


    What a gorgeous couple!

    …and celebrated Andy’s doctoral degree at Columbia’s commencement ceremonies…

    The Grad

    Doctor O'Neill, at your service

    —we’re finally back in Mount Frere! Freezing, freezing, freezing cold Mount Frere. So far we’re off to a slow start. Having been away for so long, we’re not hip to the current day-to-day activities going on at Hlomelikusasa. We’re still “supposedly” being evicted, though our evictors have promised to find us a new office, so I guess we’re waiting for that. At this rate, I’m not sure we’ll still be in Africa when Hlom. finally gets relocated!

    While we were in New York Andy and I went to visit 2 schools on Long Island who have been raising money for ASAP’s School to School program. I have been trying to jump-start a penpal relationship with the American kids and some of the orphans around Mount Frere. After our nightmare presentation (we’d prepared a somewhat more cerebral discussion than the roomful of 4 year olds could handle) they gave us a big stack of letters to bring back to the OVC here. So, once settled back in Mount Frere, I went to one of our local schools and had the kids read aloud a few of the American letters. It was a blast.


    The kids in the US wrote lovely letters, but they do have a very different lifestyle. It was pretty hard for the Mount Frere youth to wrap their heads around sentences like “I enjoy swimming in my pool and sailing in one of my family’s boats,” or “I have three dogs and my favorite sport is Jujitsu.” But I think they had fun, and I’m going to pick up their response letters tomorrow–here’s hoping they make sense!


    I am hoping to continue the School to School program when we return to the states. If anyone knows of a school (elementary or high school) who might like to become a part of this program, please let me know! The US schools on Long Island have been raising funds through donations, bake sales, lemonade stands etc. to help orphans with school uniforms, learning materials, and also furniture for classrooms. It’s a great project.

    More posts to come. Thanks for tuning in!

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