The staff and children have all been keeping well in the village during this rainy season. There have been a few colds going around, but with the help of hot water, fresh ginger root, local honey and lime juice we are quickly treating the symptoms and shortening its life-span.
School classes have been going well, with each of the children in their various levels, working hard to the best of their ability. They all love art/craft time, and the youngest children enjoying drawing and colouring as well as hearing stories and singing.
Our new girls have adjusted well and are feeling at home and very welcomed by the children. The home is buzzing with the noise and activities of a busy and happy family!
On Friday we recieved some rather dissapointing news. It would appear that after almost three years of continual requesting for assistance and clarification of the necessary papers for international volunteers, and continual advice and direction from various Immigration personal, that we have been guided the completely wrong way. We have just come to realize that the vast amount of our time and personal money spent toward our expatriate quota applications and approvals, visas requested and extened, has all been wasted. While we have made clear from the very begining that our work is one of mission and humanitarian efforts with an established NGO, it seems no one was actually listening to us and led us to do paperwork that is all required for “BUSINESSES” rather then NGOs. We now are literally back to square one and have an entirely new process to follow for ensuring proper registration of the NGO in the country that allows for application and approval of proper visa’s and residency for both us here now, and those to come in the future. Please pray that we are able to acquire the proper papers from Canada and Abia expediently, as well as write all the new documentation need; pray that we are helped by others here in this process and not have loopholes and impediments thrown our way, pray that we have patience, energy and a gentle spirit in working through these meetings and enduring these proceedings. We do not know how long this will take, our current visa allows us to stay until August, and our children/staff in the village are still awaiting our arrival!
We have been wonderfully blessed a few days ago…and are happy to welcome two new beauitful daughters home! A case was brought to our attention only a week ago, and after investigation and the noted urgency of the situation, we are so proud to have these lovely girls as additions to our family. They are roughly around the ages of 1.5 and 3.5 years old and are halfsisters. While they were very sad the first two days, they have been welcomed so gentley and compassionately by our children and staff, that they are slowly adjusting well.
Myself and Cat are back on the ground in Nigeria. We have been here for two weeks now, all spent in Abuja, the capital city. We are still waiting for our papers to be processed. The visa’s we were granted to arrive with had to be changed over for residency and this takes time. We have filled our days with various meetings, phonecalls and emails, document writing, and down time. Our meetings have led to many possible doors opening, so we are carefully praying and considering new opportunities ahead. We hope to get our paperwork this week and make plans to head to the village.
Our beautiful children are doing so well. They are all healthy and growing and changing day by day. They miss their Mummy and are so excited to be reunited, spending much of their craft time making things for Mummy, Mummy Canada and Daddy Canada.
Teacher Chinedu held some school assessments for the children and presented them with their achievements and evaluations in a little ceremony held on the house front steps, with pictures taken to send to Mummy. We are so proud of our children and well they are doing! Some of the awards included “Personal Improvement in Reading, Positive Attitude, Helper, Personal Improvement in Mathematics, Kindness, Determination, Creativity in Science” etc.
Please check our FB page for new Photos (we are still working out the bugs for our photo plug in on this website. You can see photos on FB and on Instagram). Thank you!
One day I pray I may say… the visas were granted and returned expediently.
But so far, in ten years of living in Nigeria, traveling in and out too many times to be counted, it is sad to say that we have NEVER ever, not one person, received they correct visa applied for and in the appropriate amount of time.
So we continue to wade through politics and lack of civility to acquire entry to “our” other home and country where our children and staff family are. We know that God must have a plan in all of this, after so many years to struggle still. Yet we remain committed and steadfast toward our projects and our love of the people and desire to make a difference. We will not let poor attitudes and judgment keep us away from the work God would have us do, no matter how hard the struggle remains to be.
We have hope, and faith … that one day, Nigeria will be a much better, stronger and peaceful place, a nation that loves its own people and desires to help them ALL, to balance the great injustices and inequalities that prevail today, that through justice, love and equality they will begin to heal themselves and show the world a much different side, one that TWCF knows is there, but that most others in the world cannot ever see or know of, the side of HOPE, RESILIENCE AND BROTHERLY LOVE.
We now also have a new Governor in Abia State. Unfortunately we cannot be proud of Abia for its election processes. Abia, along with Imo (and a few other states), had very poor elections processes intertwined with violence and corruption. As a matter of fact the first set election was cancelled and it had to be held a second time. While the first one was contested, the second one also is being contested. It would seem aside that fact that the newly elected Governor had majority votes, he was not truly the peoples choice. It is very difficult to run elections and be a politician of the people ushering in much needed change and reform, when greed and corruption are so heavily intertwined.
We pray strength and wisdom on the current and new leaders transitioning in over the next month. We pray honesty and humbleness. We pray health and virtue. And we pray passion and compassion toward the people of our state, and our country, that our leaders would identify themselves only as a “Nigerian”, just as the people they SERVE are, while they are in office, and through that would make the best changes possible. We have had enough divisiveness and hatred toward one another due to political preference, religion, denomination, socio-economic status, gender, tribe, career/job status, financial status…etc, the list goes on. We must see each other as fellow Nigerians, as one, and start healing our nation.
It is dry season, and the heat is intense. It is only when harmattan blows that there is slight coolness in the air. With harmattan though comes dust which often gives everyone colds. Thank goodness there are oranges in season now and that we discovered ginger root grows in excess here. We keep colds away! A plus to harmattan is that the laundry dries quickly on the line and there are slightly less bugs around.
The children occupy their time once out of lessons, by working in the gardens weeding and water. They are so excited when we have things growing! We keep experimenting with growing different things, hoping we can plant more nutritional foods as well as help sustain our own food intake. It is a work in progress. The children also play cards or games on the porch as well as have various game days were football (soccer), relay races, and bean-bag toss are engaged in. We look forward to having more soccer balls and frisbees come down from Canada!
We are going through water a lot faster also during dry season, as it is so important to keep hydrated, but that is also part of staying healthy!
Our children are doing wonderful! They are healthy and happy, progressing with each day. We thank God that there has been calmness in our village during this election time and that everyone is safe.
The children are growing, getting taller and more helpful as time goes by. They love going to class in the home and are each doing their best in school and daily activities. Behaviours and attitudes continue to be worked on and change through the help, guidance and love of the staff. The new boys we received in February have adjusted very well and have become permanent members of the family, getting along well with all their other siblings and learning English quickly.
Our two girls in the home are still praying regularly that the next children will be girls as they are highly out numbered!
It is just over a month since my last positing, I apologize. There have been many things going on in Nigeria as a country. The prior postponed elections have just taken place, and yesterday General (Rtr.) Muhammadu Buhari was named the President elect. The official hand over from President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will take place on May 29.
We hope and pray for continued peace among the people of Nigeria as this transition of leaders takes place, and we pray for wisdom and guidance as Buhari steps up to lead Nigeria away from violence and corruption and toward peace, unity and healing.