John has been working on the power supply at Pulane, a children’s centre in Lesotho, where he has been many times before. This is the final despatch from his current visit there: he returned home on March 21st, accompanied by Tristan Denman who had been helping John for the latter part of his time there. Further details may be found in the April issue of IN TOUCH, which is available to be read on this website: see under PUBLICATIONS.
John Rhodes is joined by Tristan Denman
We were left in the last letter with John waiting for Tristan to arrive. The journey to meet him was not uneventful! Due to all the excessive and continuous rain, it was not possible for John to drive himself on the journey. He hired a ‘backky’ with a driver. The first part of the journey was on mud roads which tend to wash away when it rains. Quite a daunting thought if you are travelling along them! The problem occurred though when there was a loud grinding noise coming from one of the wheels. The cover of one of the constant velocity joints had split and mud had entered. The vehicle spent a few hours in a local garage while the problem was dealt with. This incurred an overnight stay and, in the morning, one of the tyres was flat. Fortunately, the spare was inflated and the wheel changed. Airport ‘here we come’!
Tristan arrived safely and the journey back to Pulane was trouble-free. I think there may have been a celebratory glass or two of wine drunk that evening!
Work continued on the ‘project’ the following morning and our men from Moreton worked hard despite thunderstorms, heavy rains and power cuts. Other electrical problems were also dealt with. It was only possible to work indoors. But the goal was in sight and after twenty hours without power, the project was completed!
But was the pressure off? There were numerous other little jobs for the ‘Mr Fix-It’ team to do! It left just two days for John and Tristan to spend time with the children — and they made full use of that. Tristan especially was a great hit when he played games which are the same as those played with the Scouts here in Moreton, and he spent time with the eight Lesotho Boy Scouts who live at the centre.
Then it was time to leave and head back to the snow-covered hills of Devon. Again, the first 30k of the journey was treacherous, along mud roads which could easily disappear. Then Tristan experienced the Lesotho taxi service! A twelve-seater vehicle packed with at least sixteen people all needing more space than was available!
After flight departure delays in Johannesburg, they missed their coach connection at Heathrow, but caught a later one and arrived safely in Exeter on 21st March.
‘Welcome home and well done!’
We shall be able to hear directly about all the work, when John gives a presentation at the Union Inn in Moretonhampstead, on Thursday, 26th April, when you will also be able to see where all your kind donations were spent and photos of some of the work done. The presentation begins at 7.30, but do come any time after 7 pm and have a drink at the bar. The Union very kindly lets us use their Stable Bar and it’s good if we can support them by buying the odd pint or glass of wine.
Once more, may I thank you all for your support and your prayers, and for your interest in where your kind donations are being used – Gill Rhodes