Our CEO's Visit to our School in February 2019
Diary Extract, Tuesday February 26th, 2019
The Day of the ‘Breaking of the Stone Ceremony’
Today was one of the most incredible days of my life! We stopped to collect the plaque, the banner, a giant loaf of bread and 100 bottles of Sprite(!)
The minibus was loaded with various representatives from the ministry of education, myself and the Link Ethiopia team - no chickens today! We set off to drive the 50km to Gendit for the Breaking of the Stone Ceremony…..
After an hour and a half we bounced up the dirt track towards the school. 150 children and 100 or more villagers met us. Many had babies wrapped in swaddling cloths and the rest had AK47 Kalasmikofs... All were in traditional dress. I shook hands with everyone, uttering my meagre ‘Solemno’ (hello) - only one of four words I know.
Everyone gave a short speech. The priest, the local major, the regional school director, the village elder and finally, me. After the speeches, I presented Endalk, the school director with four footballs, three boxes of chalk and 150 pencils.
At this juncture, we all enjoyed a piece of bread and a bottle of Sprite.
The Breaking of the Stone Ceremony did not require me to have been in training at the gym for seven days a week as I first thought. However it took four of us to lay the plaque, before two buckets of cement were used to secure it in place.
We then walked around the building site to take a closer look at progress; outside, the foundations of four brand new classrooms were rising like a phoenix from the ground. The digging of the latrines were proving problematic due to the drought (and a very big rock!). But hey, this is nothing. And nothing is standing in the way of our project!
And so, the Breaking of the Stone Ceremony was over; we all boarded the van and went to the nearest one-horse town to eat injera, the Ethiopian staple .
The beginning of a dream.
Sue Eland, CEO Diary, February 2019