A meeting was held to review the results of the visit; it was agreed to form a group of interested professionals to build Graceland International School. Don Ghostlaw and Peter Dewberry brought the news and photos from the trip to St. Peter's Church, where their support base is located. Several members agreed to form a group and discuss ways to make the school project happen.
In addition, Bob Chagnon, who accompanied the group and researched the logistics for wire-transferring funds safely, was asked to serve in the group. As he was already working with a similar organization providing medical care, he declined but volunteered his wife, Elaine, an educator. She accepted the invitation and joined the group along with Fr. Tom White, Barbara Hoff-Morris, and Amy Crenshaw, all from St. Peter's Church.
After a late breakfast we were taken to Jacaranda farm and retreat center of the Diocese of Kaduna.
This farm produces numerous fruit crops and has commercial grade chicken and egg production for the local market. The retreat center has numerous buildings that can accommodate large gatherings, there is a dining hall and kitchen, and several dormitory buildings some with private rooms.
Our last day in Kaduna our group split up and visited different churches for their Sunday services. After the church services we were taken to Kaduna’s only Chinese restaurant for lunch. After lunch we packed and started our trip back to Abuja. En route to Abuja we stopped at the Kateri clinic, although this clinic is small, it offers vital medical services to an underserved poor rural community.
On arrival in Abuja we checked into the Sheraton Hotel for one night. The reason we use the Sheraton is because of its proximity to Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport.
On Monday 23, we checked out of the Sheraton and were driven to the airport for our early morning British Airways flight to Boston, via London.
After breakfast in Gusau, we met again with the Bishop and the Diocesan School Committee to discuss with them what we planned to do on our return to the USA, assuring them that we would:
We finally arrived in Kaduna in time for supper.
Rural Schools Part 3
During the visit, our team visited several rural primary schools in Zamfara State. The visits to these outlying churches were on week days; we were surprised by the number of parents took time away from their jobs and farms to come and meet with us.
We told the people about the mission of Africa Education Partnership, namely, to promote quality educational opportunities for the children of the region. Our first project is the building of Graceland International School, in Gusau.
One of our forays into the rural hinterland was a trip to a church/school in Sangeiku in the district of Kaura Namoda. It took us 4 hours to get there over rutted tracks that passed as roads. The sight of camels transporting goods was an indication that we were in the Sahel, the semi-arid region south of the Sahara desert.
Each church we visited had a small primary school to teach the basic reading, writing, and math. It is anticipated that qualified students from these rural schools will attend the Graceland International School in Gusau.