The challenge has been a great success and although it has been tough at times that’s what challenges are all about.
It has been an enormous privilege to have been able to take part in this event and an even bigger privilege to have done it for the pupils, staff, governors and parents that make up St. John’s school community. Thank you to all the pupils for their encouragement through their cycling and to everyone for the sponsorship for our new school bus.
Today we made it to Angkor Wat which is enormous and has a 35Km circumference. Pictures are of me and the group there at the finish. I have also included pictures of our 4 hour journey across the Tonya Sap lake, the largest inland lake in SE Asia. There we are on top of the boat, or on the side, travelling at 44Km an hour—you don’t get that sense of freedom and common sense in GB !! Now happy to have a rest from Chinese, Vietnam, Cambodian Food and a decent cup of coffee would be great.
So lots to tell you next Monday but meanwhile continue to have a restful half term. I will be off to the town (Siem Reap ) this evening to have a celebration meal and then tomorrow will go round the shops in the morning before we fly home in the afternoon. No more cycling just Tuk Tuk’s at 3 Dollers a journey.
Almost there.Traffic held us up to the start yesterday and so we were running behind time to reach hotel by nightfall 75 Km away. It’s now 35 degrees and humid, rough hard sandy roads but we did it with 10 mins to spare.
Today we have a 4 hour river crossing across the largest lake in SE Asia and then a 40 Km cycle to Siam Reap with Angkor Wat close by.
You will all have started half term just as I am finishing Friday’s cycling.
I have now completed 340Km with 130 to go. I have seen a tremendous way of life that the people live as I have travelled through Vietnam and as we have entered Cambodia today the weather is much more humid.
I am so grateful for all the money that has been raised and more than grateful to all of the pupils who have also been cycling, because some of this cycling has been hard and when it has become ‘mind over matter’ I have been inspired by all that you are doing.
Have a great half term and I will send you a few photos of life on the road..
We have now completed 225 Km and hope the school are keeping up with me.
Because we have only 14 in the group we have to keep together – but you will not be surprised that I am flying the flag of St. John’s very much in last place!
It is certainly very testing and feel I am earning any money raised. I’m so privileged to be seeing how life is here. It’s very much a family life with parents, children and grandchildren all together. Family are buried in the garden.
Primary school children go to school from 7 to 11 in the morning and then the secondary children go from 1 to 5 in the afternoon. (No school lunches!).
There are very few cars here (much to expensive) everyone rides mopeds. Also, there are no traffic lights – so traffic is crossing over from left to right, or straight on with pedestrians walking in between. This would be crazy in Sevenoaks, but is totally safe in Vietnam and I have achieved it safely. We are going to the Killing fields tomorrow and then to the border with Cambodia, another 100 Km.
Chinese food for breakfast lunch and supper is very testing and I am not coping with the breakfast and lunch (so pinch as much bread as I can for lunch!).
Thinking of all of you is keeping my spirits up. Just finished supper, a quick walk around the town and then off to bed.
Only 36 hours to go until I will be on the plane with 13 other cyclists ready to tackle the challenge in Vietnam and Cambodia. I go inspired by all of you and will have plenty to talk about with my fellow travellers on what makes for a truly successful and thriving community school.
I came into Assembly on Tuesday and there before me was an amazing mural of the trip I am about to embark on with pictures of the two countries including bikes drawn by the children (we must teach them how to draw comfortable cycle seats!!). Next in came the static bike, knowing that the children and staff will be cycling the same distance as me during the week will certainly keep me going in the 35 degree heat; there is no way I can fail this challenge with the whole school behind me. Then I hear that some parents and pupils will be going to the Gravesend Cycle Park on my return to take part in their own challenge (I will be there with you). With Geography and History lessons taking place as well I can only thank all of you for giving me the inspiration to enjoy the 11 days knowing that you are all participating in the experience as well. A great example of staff, pupils, parents and Governors coming together as a team to support.
You will all be on half term when I come back so I look forward to seeing you on the Monday you return to school.
Another highly successful event organised by Clare Strange. Around 2pm
16 Schools start arriving at Ratnor House School with 400 children in 2
Age Groups ready for 4 Races.( Forms 3/4 Boys and Girls—– Forms 5/6
Boys and Girls ) Each team has 6 children, the 1st 3 count for scoring. It was a perfect
afternoon for the races in front of a large number of spectators. St.
John’s give their all and the outstanding team were the Boys 3/4 who came
2nd in the team event with Bailey coming 3rd in the race.
Always great to see everyone encouraging eachother and enjoying the afternoon.
This year’s Harvest Festival raised money for the Send a Cow Charity and honoured all the good work that it does for the poor in Africa. However there was a surprise at the start of the service as Sally’s farmer brother, Tim Kemp, had brought along a 3 day old calf to set the scene in the Church. So here we have the stage set for a 9.15 start with Patrick lying in a pen of straw at the back of the Church, a congregation of 130 plus but no children! Fortunately as it turned out the excellent time keeping of the staff made for a perfect entrance as it was a joy to see the expressions of amazement on the 220 children’s faces as they entered the Church.
In his sermon Fr Norman, the Bishop of Richborough who kindly came to take the service, explained to the children how a cow is given to families to help them understand the food process and so put this knowledge into practise when cooking.
The service had been brilliantly thought out by the form teachers and their helpers. In between hymns Form 6 told us all about the Charity, followed by a video, Form 2 recited a great Milk Chocolate poem, Form 5 acted out their food sketches highlighting the food a cow helps to produce: cheese, butter, yogurt, burgers together with all the vegetables and fruits which make healthy meals and Form 1 made us all want to get up and dance to their harvest Rock and Roll song. The 30 strong choir had learnt to perfection two traditional folk songs which they sang in the native Zulu and Xosa language. Form 4 read bible readings and Form 3 ended with prayers.
The sun shone through the stained glass windows and Patrick lay peacefully through the service and Tim has decided he would like a CD of the singing to help all his cows to relax.