The year started with a bump for me. I couldn’t get a mail I was trying to send (to Dave) to send, and nor could I delete it, so I     dropped my computer off with some computer-fixer people. It turned out to be a virus, and two days later I went to pick up my clean computer. The young man, who did the job for me, gave me the all clear and said I was now going to be using a new mail system. I opened it up to have a look, and asked, “But where is all my mail?”

“Oh”, he replied blithely, “I had to delete all of that”. I cannot claim to have remained calm. He spent the next four days desperately trying to retrieve my mail and I spent the next four days pulling my own, and his (rapidly greying), hair out, to no avail. Luckily I had all saved up until early December, and we managed to retrieve a lot from the server. Many thank to all who resent emails to me.

Last year, in contrast, ended with some excellent news. The Premier decided to give gifts of R100 000 to the 20 worst-off schools in our district, a category into which NO-OFISI fits quite easily. This money is to be put towards improving school buildings, or in our case, building new school buildings. This year has started off with me meeting with various people in the Provincial Education Department about the use of that money.

This week has started off with a NEW PRINCIPAL (that needed to be shouted). Mr Luningo has arrived, and has started setting things right. The teachers were there today, and it is a Monday!  If we can maintain a five day teaching week, it will be a massive improvement. Other good things are happening, too. The community is assisting with building a rough shelter for classes to take place under until the building is built, and so though things seems set to remain physically rough for a while, they also seem set to improve.

I have my head down researching and writing the final proposal, it should be done soon, though I may need until the end of the month to get the budget smoothed out. Once that is done, we are really on the road.