Our plans while visiting Bishop Todd and Revd. Patsy McGregor in Toliara, Madagascar, include seeing the sites of the to-be-built cathedral, and also the hoped-for retreat center across the bay by boat. At the end of our stay we will spend 3 nights in the rain forest, along with the newly arrived team from St Gregory's, Deerfield.
While there, we will be making banners, leading Church School and helping the administrator with Quick Books.
It was a bit daunting initially to discover that the banner making workshop would have 50 women in it plus one iron and no sewing machine! Plans are underway to produce banner kits for 7 churches, and we have bought the fabric and several pairs of scissors to take with us. Scissors, needles and thread being deemed essential for this workshop! Since we first talked to Patsy, the McGregors' housekeeper has bought herself a sewing machine, and we will buy an identical one when we get there for use in the Diocese.
Church school will be interesting - 200 children aged 2 to 16, no supplies and no common language!! Thankfully the normal helpers will be there along with an interpreter.
We learned from Bruce and Shay Mason’s talk that many of the children do not have pencils, and schools may not have chalks. So, if your household has more pencils, crayons and markers than you know what to do with, we would be happy to take surplus supplies with us to Madagascar. Please sharpen any pencils before donating them, and check that the markers still have life in them!