It’s just about 09:00. I am an hour late for one of our schools most important functions – the annual prize giving ceremony. As I arrive – I always feel like the Prime Minister – kids are shouting and waving their arms in anticipation. Parents are all sitting in the shade ……. waiting!
Photo: Jampacked!

Nevermind the weather ……… everyone was there. Nobody really cared that I was an hour late. Was this in New York – I was a gonner for sure! But here people understand, time is not always money …….. it’s about seeing each other again after a few weeks and the fact that we are still healthy ….. or at least kicking!Photo: Tito Mabuleza (left) and Simon Nicolau (right) trying the summerize the year’s teaching in an hour nutshell! Did I mention that our gathering takes the same time than a school with 1 500 kids?

The kids knows the procedure. Everybody quickly lines up for the singing of the national anthem. The chorus must be my favourite …….. “Moçambique nossa terra gloriosa! Pedra a pedra construindo o novo dia! Milhões de braços, uma só força!Ó pátria amada vamos vencer!”

The kids sing but their eyes are fixed on my vehicle. It is packed with prizes, a bicycle and boxes full of biscuits and sweats – not to mention all the cooldrinks.

Photo: This boy …. waiting nonchalantly for his prize.

The ceremony was a joyous one. Everyone wanted to win the new bicycle …….. but the winner smiled so much we had to cool him down. For those who didn’t win any academic or sport prizes there were more than enough sweats to keep them happy. After the final results were made known to the parents the party begun in all honesty.

Photo: Keren Massey (left) a volunteer nurse from Canada also gave a hand when it came to handing out an academic prize to one of our girls.

Photo: This girl must have been one of my coolest customers. She won the first prize in our pre-school group. I guess she was thinking: “What’s the big deal – I know I am good!”

We even had a prize for the kid (a boy off course) who ate the most food throughout the year. As you may know – our school has its own kitchen where we provide a meal everyday to all our kids. This has been ongoing for many years – and looking at the weight of our teachers, I think it’s time for Weight Watchers to come to Mozambique.

Photo: The big winner of the day – Grade 5 top student takes away the Bush BMW of the day! He looks shocked though.
Photo: All our prize winners. A special word of thanks to our shaking teacher for taking all the photos.
Photo: Time to hand out all the sweats in an orderly way off course ……. it is a school you know!
Photo: Pockets hanging with blessings!

Photo: Rivers of cooldrink flowing non-stop!

We had a great day and so many people made this possible. I seriously need to thank Busbridge Church in Godalming for helping us, David Phillips for caring and Niel and Helane Keyser. SAM Canada has been stocking the kitchen ….. and you can see it on the kids. Thanks to all who made this great day even greater. We salute you!