The Parish of Sandal Magna

Letter from Mags and Gwen in Paraguay

School has been very busy. We seem to be making up for a quiet July! At the beginning of the month the secondary pupils all went to visit the homes they support. Each class has a place that they support for the six years they are in secondary. Some went to orphanages, to a home for children with HIV, to a school for children with special needs etc. They always take something to help their home and they play with the children.

The middle of August is Children's day. The annexe children came up to school to join with our primary kids to watch a play done by a theatre group. After that they joined their respective classes and shared a snack time together. They had great fun and our kids were sad when the annexe had to leave as it was their home time.

This was followed by the inauguration of the new president, our ex pupil. We were thrilled to receive invitations to the great event  which took place behind the presidential palace by the river. There were 6,000 people invited. We were thrilled to find we were right in the middle and sat amongst ex pupils and parents from school. It was such a privilege to be there and see Marito become president and other ex pupils take their places in the government. In the evening there was a much smaller reception to which Mags went along and met more of her ex pupils that she taught 30 years ago. We were very much aware that we were reaping what others who had gone before us, had sown. For years it had been said in school that one day a president might come from St Andrew’s school. It was a very moving occasion for us.

The next day we were invited to the British Embassy to see the students who had won scholarships to do masters degrees in the UK. We had been to a number of these before but this one was very different as we knew that two of our ex pupils, who we had both taught, would be receiving a scholarship to go to Cambridge University and to the London School of Economics. We felt that the Lord was giving us a glimpse of what we’d always hoped for just before it was time to leave Paraguay.

August is also the time to celebrate Folklore day. The primary had different classes doing their traditional dances and showing traditional foods and costumes of Paraguay. The infants all came dressed in Paraguayan style and brought Paraguayan traditional food to eat.

The year 11's always act out their Spanish literature book that they are studying for IGCSE and it’s always at this time of year. The school hall is still not ready although progress is being made! So they have hired a little theatre for it and their parents are invited. Even so practices haven’t been easy as we don’t have anywhere for them yet. They seem to be ready now as this will take place in 2 days time.

Talking of buildings. We can see progress and I hear they aim to finish by October. It will be great to have staff rooms and offices we need. We inspected the new part last week and it’s coming along well.

We are fit and well and getting ready for another break at the end of the month when we have a week off for Spring break. Before that we have a Synod to attend. Mags has been on the diocesan executive committee for the past 20 years or so and will leave after the synod. She had her last exec meeting last week.Many thanks for all your support and prayers, 
God Bless,

Gwen and Mags xx

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