Goodbyes and Homecoming

Friday 14th September was our last day in Ghana. We went into the Omega Schools office for the last time and tidied our desks, as well as handing over the work we’d been doing. Ian handed over the ‘laptop of power’ (with all the data and software for analysing assessment data) to Ato, who is taking over the reins of assessment and data analysis. And we said goodbye to colleagues who had become good friends during the last year.

Handing over the laptop of power

There was a farewell ceremony on the roof terrace, with speeches, prayers, snacks and   real champagne.  In the end it was hard to say goodbye, but good to feel that we might have made a small difference to that group of schools.

Ken makes a speech at the Omega Schools farewell ceremony

With some of our Omega Schools colleagues

We flew home that night, and landed back at Heathrow on Saturday morning. Claire picked us up, and we checked into the Travelodge hotel in High Wycombe for a 12-night stay. Our first week ‘home’ was taken up with medical / dental appointments, dealing with four months’ post, helping with childcare, and a trip to London.

Oscar and Charlie in the swing

Bathtime for Oscar

We had a great day in London.  We prepared for future travels by visiting Stanfords (travel bookshop) and Trailfinders (travel agents).  We also visited Holland Park (we’d never been there before – it’s really beautiful), went to the Tate Modern (drinks in the sixth floor café, with a fantastic view of the Thames), and walked along the South Bank. The day was rounded off with a visit to the theatre to see ‘Jumpy’, a play about fraught mother/daughter relationships.

Lunch in Holland Park

Holland Park rose garden

View of St Paul’s from Tate Modern cafe

On Wednesday, while we were looking after the grandsons (Claire was flying and Raf was at work), Ian broke a tooth while eating some French bread. This involved two visits to the dentist in Langley, with another one due next week and a final appointment in three months. Sandie has also been to the dentist and optician, and Ian had a doctor’s appointment on Friday. Altogether, we’re making up for lost time with the health service.

The Saturday after we arrived home, our son Paul came down from Manchester for the weekend.  On Saturday afternoon he went with Claire and the boys to a pirate-themed third birthday party.  In the evening, we went with Paul, Claire and Raf for dinner at an Indian restaurant, followed by drinks at a cocktail bar.  On Sunday Paul was keen to see Manchester United play Liverpool.  Raf was at work, but the rest of us (including the children) had lunch at a pub where the match was being shown on a large screen.  The pub was packed, and Man U won, so Paul was in a happy mood when he returned home to Manchester.

Charlie the pirate

Lunch in the pub

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