Not just a school signboard…

I was looking through some of the photos I have gathered while putting together this blog in the last 2 years & 5 months, and it all really started when, in September 2018, I stood by the school signboard for the first time in over 26 years.

It was a different signboard to the one I knew in 1989-91 when I was teaching there, on the other side of the tree in the background. It served as the bus-stop for the Njenje family nearby as well as many others. The new one still does.

The signboard has become something more – a meeting place, almost a tourist spot! On my return visit to Pakati in 2019, I was humbled by the warm greetings I had from the Njenje family there. It was where, in 1991, they gave me my totem.

Also, as I was about to stay with my friend Bothwell Riside at his family home next to the school, I had a picture taken with him there too.

Now, when someone I know visits the school, they send me pictures by the school signboard, but also by the relatively new sign by the turn off to Musami from the tarred are some of them I have had…

Below is Vari Mayez of VaTonatsa Foundation on her way to Pakati Primary last year. She was delivering the first batch of study booklets we had jointly produced.

In 2019, former Pakati student Lorraine Mapuranga revisited the school, where I once taught her Maths, when she was on a visit home from South Africa

More recently, another former Pakati student, Rev. Aggie Fombo, was in the area, and sent me this:

Here are some more of my own pics which also appear in the blog..

In addition there is a signboard for Pakati Primary school as you approach the Secondary…

…plus, just after that, is one at the entrance to the Secondary school itself.

There is something about the signboard for me, it signifies I am back in the area where I spent nearly 3 years of my life, time which definitely has had a profound effect on me as a person. It is one of the reasons I keep the project going, to try & do something for the community who accepted me all those years ago.

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My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

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