Greetings to Everyone!
I must take a few minutes to write. There is so very much to tell you and so little time. That is life, huh? Generally, the pace of life is much slower here in Burkina than it is in the States but for the past few weeks it seems that life has been on over-drive speed here.
The clinic is nearly finished. I'm sorry that I do not have a new photo for you but I promise that in my next writing there will be a photo and probably the 'finished version' of the clinic. The men are doing finish work, painting inside and out, installing light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, etc. By the contract, they must be finished by June 25th or else pay a penalty so I feel confident that the work will be finished soon.
The plans for the clinic are that it will serve first the children in our courtyard. These are the 45 children in the orphanage and the 90 children in our school. After our nurses have these routines down, we plan to open the clinic one or more mornings a week to serve the orphans in the area. Our nurses are young and inexperienced but we will be working hand-in-hand with a local doctor in Yako and also Dr. Zala who is located 70 km away in Ouyaghuia.
Once again the truck broke down this past week. This time it is the alternator. We had the alternator 'repaired' a few weeks ago but it seems that it was just a temporary fix and it died completely last Sunday.
Today I am back in Ouaga and the truck is in the hands of my faithful mechanic, Jean. Jean just called me with the news that a used replacement part would cost $200 and a new part would be $500. Ouch! Needless to say, I felt obligated to tell him to go with the used part. He said that there is a limited waranty on the part and that if we continue to have problems we can return it.
Please pray with us concerning the purchase of a new vehicle. Our truck will continue to be very usefull for hauling sand, rock, wood, and grain in and around Yako but we are very much in need of a more reliable vehicle for trips outside of Yako.
Our children are all relatively well and we are thankful for this. We received 3 little newborns in the span of 10 days about 2 1/2 months ago. I am happy to report that each of these babies are now thriving and are doing great.
This past week, we received twin girls whose mother died about a month ago. The twins were being cared for by an elderly grandmother and they are very sick. The twins are named Fatimata and Mariam and they are much smaller than our other 3 babies of about the same age. Please pray that Fatimata and Mariam will quickly adapt and adjust to our way of caring for them and that they will start gaining weight.
All of our primary school children passed this year!!! This may not seem like a great accomplishment to you but here often 40% or more of the children do not pass from year to year. The public schools are terribly overcrowded with 100+ children in each class and only one teacher. They also do not have adequate books or resourse materials. We have less than 30 children in each class and each child has his own desk, his own books, pens, notebooks, etc.
We are thankful for the material supplies that we are able to give to our children but we are also thankful to the Lord for the opportunity we have to sew Godly principals into their hearts and their lives. We are also thankful the He helped our children to study hard and to finish their studies.
We had 24 sixth graders take the standardized test given by the government this year. This was our first year to have 6th graders and of course, the first year to take this exam. In pre-tests that were given, our children scored very well. But, the grades from the exam have not been released yet so we are waiting to hear that everyone passed. This exam is a pass/fail exam which allows the child to continue to 7th grade or to re-do 6th grade no matter whether he passed his 6th grade work or not.
The orphanage children also did very well this year in their studies. All of the final grades have not been released yet but several reports have been released and these children all passed. We had 3 boys who took a standardized test given after 9th grade and 2 of the 3 passed on the first try. The 3rd boy qualified for a second try at the exam and we do not yet know whether he passed or not.
The orphanage children will again stay at the orphanage this summer to study and to work our field of millet and beans. After the planting is completed they will be allowed to go and visit their famlies for a couple of weeks but then they will return and stay focused on their studies. We did this last year as a trial and feel that the extra work and effort paid off for our students this year. The children are all in agreement to keep working on their French and their math skills.
Well, I must close for now and publish this. I am attaching a photo that I just received from Assya's mother in Italy. Assya has grown taller and has gained weight since moving to Italy with her parents last September. She is adored by her 2 older brothers and will be starting pre-school this Fall. This is a picture of Assya and her mother at the beach.
Love and blessings to you!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma