David writes:

The last three weeks have been a busy time for farewell, reaching their crescendo at St Agnes’ church this morning.

David preached – fortunately he had been warned beforehand – and then, at the end of the service, we both had to come and sit at the front of the church to receive our gifts.  Elizabeth wore the seshoeshoe that she had been given by the congregation of St Christopher’s – which was much appreciated by the congregation today.

The gifts turned out to be a variety of hats, both traditional Lesotho hats – especially made with “St Agnes” woven into them – and more conventional ones for Elizabeth.  David was asked whether he would be wearing his when he was out ploughing when he got back to England.

After the service, we joined the Parish Council for a meal.  During the service, a churchwarden had shown the congregation the trophy awarded to the parish for being the best at paying their annual assessment and making other financial contributions to the Diocese.  Quite a change from the Parish we visited in August 2008, which was divided against itself and had no money at all.

Several people summed up the day very well:  “It is so enjoyable when first we meet, but parting is so sad”.  We shall certainly miss St Agnes, Ha Fusi and all the friends we have made in Lesotho.

We are now going to be on holiday in various parts of Africa – Madagascar, Malawi (visiting our son-in-law’s family), Tanzania and Zanzibar – until the end of January.  So blog postings may be intermittent, but we hope to have news in that time of the results of the Junior Certificate sat by Form C and also the size of the school roll at the start of the new school year.

A Merry Christmas to you all.