‘Wherever you have friends, its the best place’

This was quote from a TV travel programme, one of Micheal Palin’s journeys – Around the World in 80 Days. The Saudi captain of a Saudi sea-going vessel was asked why he liked Liverpool. He said it was the first port he had been to, and he had many friends there. Then the quote – ‘Wherever you have friends, its the best place’ – was something I immediately understood.

The Njenje family greeting the author on arrival at the Pakati school signboard, September 2019

I find it is most true when I am talking about my two greatest passions – Scunthorpe United and Pakati. Yesterday I was back watching football at Scunthorpe with my son Daniel, seeing friends again & enjoying a live game for the first time since February 2020. This is a team I first watched in August 1969! It was such a pleasure to reconnect with fellow Iron fans👍

Pic courtesy of Luke Broughton Photography

I am still some months away from revisiting Pakati, probably a year away if I am honest barring a miracle. However, I continue to be in touch with both schools, members of the staff & community, former students and teachers, plus many friends old & new.

The author greeting old friend Thomas Gombera, September 2019

Friends of Pakati are still actively trying to help both Pakati schools, particularly in getting IT equipment to them for a second time, and hopefully can arrange a satellite-based Internet connection. Here are some of the promised computers from the Stephenson Group based in Leeds:

If you can help us do this, please donate to http://Paypal.me/friendsofpakati if it asks, then please use our email address friendsofpakati@gmail.com to find our page. Also please use that email if you wish to orfer an of our merchandise – see https://friendsofpakati.com/merchandise/ for details, particularly our newest addition – t-shirts in 5 sizes from S to 2XL!

Photo courtesy of Deborah Jay Kelly & Andre Holland

Ome of the things I most look forward to when I visit either Scunthorpe (my home town) or Pakati (my home area when in Zimbabwe) is meeting up with friends for a chat, a match, a meal, a drink, a walk, or whatever comes up at the time. Definitely, that is the best place to be!



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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