Training weekend at our Mother House, Ploërmel (France) for African Educational Project, Togo 07
This was the first time our group of 13 young people met the 70 or so French participants and our last training event before setting off for Togo on July 9th. We'll be meeting amongst ourselves in Liverpool after Easter to clarify which activities we want to use with Togolese children we'll be working with in 2 different places during the trip (a secondary school and the nursery attached to a village agricultural centre). And we'll also be undertaking some fund-raising events to buy equipment that we'll be bringing out (eg. sports, audio-visual...)and leaving with our hosts for them to keep.
Our adventure started with a mini-bus journey from Liverpool to Southampton, arriving in time for a buffet supper with our Brothers in Southampton (= where I went to school... aahh, bless! :-).
Supper with the Brothers. Bro. Francis, former Head Teacher of our Liverpool school on the far right.Next up, the overnight ferry from Portsmouth with the chance to go to the flicks and watch "Blood Diamond"... quite appropriate considering we're preparing to go to Africa ourselves, just as long as it doesn't make anyone in the group think that all you get in Africa is either famine or civil war! We had a good discussion about it afterwards.
The next morning we were treated to a lovely French breakfast by some of my French confrères in our community at St. Malo, including a good friend of mine, Bro. Joseph Pichon, who was in community with me in Paris for one of my 4 years there in the 1990s.
Bro. Joseph Pichon
The assembled volunteers, French + English, together for the weekend at our Mother House in Ploërmel, Brittany.
The next few photos show us trying out some of the games, songs and dances (including the most popular one, the Papa Mola dance)
that the different groups will be using when we are in Togo.
A famous astronomical clock, built as a teaching tool by a 19th century Brother, Bro. Bernardin. The main part of the mechanism was away for repairs. As well as show the movements of the planets and their principal moons, it also has dials which chart the phases of the Moon, the movement of the Earth, the days of the week, the seasons, the positions of stars, etc...
The tomb of our founder in the Mother House chapal, Father Jean-MarieDe La Mennais.