2012 started with a bang with  8 new children joining our pre-school of 15, and 5 of them were 3 year olds….. this was going to be very interesting and challenging!!!

The other major challenge for us was going to be organising a TLB or Bulldozer to come and level the site at Jonga, for the new, big ILM!  This mission started during the last week in January.

The ‘newbies’ at ILM were really being shown the way by the ‘more experienced’ Montessori children and this was really amazing to observe…..and it made my life so easy 🙂  The children are practising problem solving skills on a daily basis and there is a beautiful respect between the ‘inexperienced’ and the ‘experienced’ children – another lovely observation.

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
New children – Esam (in blue), Nomaindia and Lukholo
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Esam, Iviwe and Atayanda singing a trio for us, happy as can be
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Qaqamba (new) in pink, with Chulumanco in front
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Molo, I am Minentle and I am 4 years old
Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Excuse my back, I am Usiphile, 4 years old and I like counting

IIM has also been financially blessed this year, with 2 of our children getting sponsored (thank you Kim Megly and Lizzie Whitehouse) and with donations from Lizzie Whitehouse (thank you for doing pub quizzes in the UK – super star!), Matthew Crompton and the lady from Switzerland with the initials MM – thank you very much for your support – you guys have helped to develop our environment and therefore our children and for that we say a massive ENKOSI KAKUHLU (thank you very much).    See what I mean…..

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Hole-in-the-Wall we go…

Maree Tebble (a friend of ILM from Australia) came to visit us in April and she said she wanted to take the children from ILM on an outing…….so it was decided to take them to Hole-in-the-Wall, as only 3 out of the 15 children had ever been there before.  Maree, her partner Darren, Nokuthula, Siziwe, myself and 13  children piled into ‘our own private mini bus taxi’ on Friday the 13th and headed off to Hole-in-the-Wall, armed with picnic food and toasties for the fire!  It was singing, laughing, talking and fun, fun, fun, fun, fun ALL the way to Hole-in-the-Wall – YEEEEAAAAHHH!  What a lovely, bumpy ride!!!

A great time was had at the Hole and all bellies were well full by the time we had to leave……and then it was more singing and happiness all the way to Coffee Bay!  Thank you Mareen and Darren for a super Fun Friday and for giving our children that lovely experience!!

As the weeks progressed, so did our search for the TLB/Bulldozer…we went to the visit the DoPW roads site at Mapuzi on a number of occasions, we tried our contacts in Bisho, we asked local authority to try and assist us…..we were just not winning.  Eventually Luke, the builder, said that he was going to see if it was possible to build in a different manner, in a way where the site did not need to be levelled before building.  We waited with bated breath, and a week later Luke came back and said we NEED a TLB/Bulldozer….the mission was now getting hectic, as we were meant to have started building already!?!?!?!?!?  I befriended the local bridge contractors, I harrased the DoPW in Grahamstown, and started a series of communications. We would accept any kind of earth moving machine,  please just not one that looks like this 🙂

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
We would accept any kind of earth moving machine, please just not one that looks like this 🙂

On Wednesday, 18 April 2012, Dave spotted a TLB at Kwaaiman on his way back from Mthatha. We were on it….and for 3 hours we were lucky enough to start the job of levelling the site so that the building can START!

Sustainable Coffee Bay - Montessori School
Starting to level the site at the new Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori – Jonga village, Coffee Bay – hooray!

We have done our building budget, mmmmmm, and we are short quite alot of materials, or money to purchase those materials.  If anyone reading this is interested in our new project and would like to help, please feel free to email me or leave your email address in the comments – and I will gladly send you a Case for Support.  Will keep you posted on the progress – until then, stay well 🙂  Dawn and the abantwanas x

Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori and 2012!
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