Norman Palmer School and TNK, but what day is it again?

Day? Not too sure what day it is as heat getting to us.

I believe it is Friday, well the end of the day and what a day? Morning worship at local All Saints church at 6am but got it wrong again, no one there except the caretaker/night watchman who sleeps on benches outside the church to keep away animals etc. It looked as if that was his only home. We had 1 service book we had been loaned so we managed.

Back for breakfast, a range of things cobbled together, we even managed to get eggs to boil, then off to the Norman Palmer School. Unfortunately it is still school holidays and only the teachers were there. We were however warmly greeted with a service and then floral greeting and off for a tour of the school. Seemed strange to not see any children, but we looked in some of the classrooms, not quite to our standard and chatted to the teachers. We even saw the wall Colin had painted, faded –sorry Colin. Then walking up to a total contrast, the new build, wow we could have been in England. A new building containing a science lab, technology and domestic science rooms and bright cheerful classrooms, such a contrast! In a classroom we sat and discussed things and I gave an introduction to Prayer Spaces which went down well. Then over to the new library (funded by the Australians) for lunch. The usual spread which we believe was bought in especially, not what they would usually have, and guests are always made to eat first and then everyone else finished it up, a very humbling experience. Before we left the staff sang us a farewell. A great morning just a shame there were no children, but better luck next week.

TNK - Easter GardenBack for a brief rest and then picked up to be taken to TNK, the Hill of Prayer, home to the Sisters of the Church. We travelled out into the countryside, leaving behind the chaos of the town, past beautiful vegetation, turning off the main road(!) we bumped along a narrow pitted track which in the rains floods and eventually drew into a compound. What a beautiful site was before our eyes! Lush vegetation and planted flowers and a scattering of buildings, we were greeted by the Sisters, Novices and Aspirants singing and playing pipes, what a chorus and what a delight. After the formal flower presentation more TNK - Pipessinging and then a tour of the site, so peaceful and beautiful. We had fun in the outside kitchen and I was made to grate coconut in the traditional way, managed it quite successfully, which was more than Mark did when trying to de-husk a coconut. We have to say any physical activity is exhausting in the heat. Then it was off to their refectory for refreshments, again a lovely spread of fruit and cake. During which we were entertained by the Sisters and Novices singing and dancing with so much glee and noise (we were told it was their quiet day, so what a normal day must be like!) we were so touched by them singing about their beautiful home it brought tears to our eyes, as did their farewell to us. As we boarded the minibus they sang shalom shalom, may peace be with you and sadly we drove away to the sight of their frantic waving and great waves of love. A truly memorable and heart-warming visit.

Holy Communion at All Saints after a quick shower and then off to dinner with some Bishops from New Zealand. An action packed day – I want my bed!!

Cate Edmonds

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