Showing posts from April, 2012

Jim Hayes (1924-2012)

Rest in peace, Dad. Mum has "my Jim" back with her now.

My Dad

I got a call from Dad's nursing home in Ireland this morning to say that my father has taken a turn for the worse. He was already very fragile (all the more so since Mum's death in October), but now has pneumonia and his blood oxygen levels + blood pressure are falling which signifies general organ failure... a matter of days rather than weeks, according to the doctor. Given how frail he was physically already when Mum died last October, I suppose it was inevitable that he would start to slip away before too long, God love him.

It's been quite a time recently. Two French Brothers in the 80s both of whom I knew well (one especially) passed away over Easter.

As with Mum's final days I simply ask God to hold our family in his hands and help Dad and the rest of us through the days to come. And I ask anyone who reads this to keep him (+ us) in your prayers.

Togo 2012 - photos and Day 6

Day 5: A visit to the apprentice workshops run by the Foyer.
A typical Togolese iron.
Another orphanage in the town to which we were taken, founded by the Salesians: Foyer Don Bosco...
... and again, before we knew it we were challenged to a football match.

In the afternoon Bernard took us to a National Park, but on the way we stopped at a memorial to a plane crash in 1974 when the plane of President Eyadema of  Togo was sabotaged by some of his enemies, killing 3  of his bodyguards, though the President himself survived. The bulk of the wreckage was left where it crashed and a monument was constructed around it.

At the National Park.

Day 6: Waiting for the lorry at Foyer 1
Today we were invited by Thomas, the Deputy Director of the Foyer, to go up into the mountains surrounding Kara to visit the village where the Franciscan founder of the orphanage was born. It also happened to be Thomas' own home village. As usual, Bernard was on duty to drive us there. Some of the older Foyer …

Togo 2012 - even more photos

Day 3 (cont.): On our way back from the second day at Foyer 2.
 Day 4: Morning activities at Foyer 1.

Me with Bernard, our driver, and his trusted lorry.
More photos to come tomorrow.

Togo 2012 - more photos

Here are the promised photos, uploaded during the night:

Day 1 cont.: The welcome ceremony 

Day 2: At Foyer 1 in town, waiting for the lorry to take us the 15 km out to Foyer 2 where the 72 younger children live out in the countryside. 
 The usual array of taxi motobikes.
The welcome ceremony at Foyer 2. As with the ceremony the night before at Foyer 1 (where the older children live) musical accompaniment to the songs sung by the children was provided by a group of highly talented young percussionists. As a Music teacher and son of a semi-professional drummer, I find the rhythms (polyrhythms) of such
 Ball games outdoors, and crown-making indoors... JD + Mary helping children with their crowns.

 Katie + Chris doing likewise.
 Frisbee games.
 Teaching them the Macarena. It proved to be very popular, especially with the older girls who would, for example, break into a spontaneous version of the dance on the touchline during our main 11-a-side match later in the week.

 Mango trees that …