December is a month of transition here at PCC.
Transition for kids
The school year is now over and the children are at PCC during the day. They are enjoying some down time after a full year of school, and even our older girls are home from boarding school in Mt Moorosi. Because they no longer have to keep their heads closely shaved for school, they are all growing their hair out and getting inventive shaving designs and patterns into their hair. Some of them look ridiculous, but it’s a simple way for them to express themselves. This year we have 15 children who finished primary school and are preparing to attend secondary school. ‘Me Esther has been working hard for months gathering all of the necessary documentation to submit applications for each of these children to receive a grant to pay secondary school fees. (Grades 1-7 are free in Lesotho, but for the final 5 years, we must pay tuition for the children to attend school) From our preschool group, Lucky 2 and George will be transitioning to Grade 1. Already they are beginning to act like older children and don’t often play with the other preschoolers on the playground.
Transition for staff
When we (the Strugnells) arrived at PCC 16 months ago, our goal was clear. We were to guide PCC through the transition to being managed day to day by our local Basotho staff. We are now at the point of ‘taking the training wheels off’ and having our Basotho Management Team (Ntate Moruti, ‘Me Esther, Ntate Khosana, and Ntate Labone) assume full leadership of PCC’s daily operations. They are all rising to the occasion and performing with excellence, as expected. Part of the transition to Basotho Management involves us stepping back from our normal roles. We no longer lead the morning staff meeting, and we are asking our managers to do the daily problem solving, planning, and budgeting. One transition that has been fun for us to watch as directors has been the shift in how the staff communicate with us. Previously, the staff would approach us with a problem and say, “What should we do?” Now our conversations sound more like this, “This is the situation. We met as a management team, discussed possible solutions, and implemented the best one. Just wanted to let you know.”
Transition for Strugnells
As our family prepares for our transition to Mission Aviation Fellowship, the season is bittersweet. We are excited for this new chapter and look forward to the new challenges and blessings of being based in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru. We are also excited about the next three months when our family travels to the United States for training, support-raising, and family visits. And at the same time, we are sad to leave this season of life behind. Though we will continue as the directors of PCC, and will visit frequently, we are sad to leave behind our little hut in the mountains. Am I looking forward to having a flushing toilet and shower in my house? Absolutely. But I will miss the rustic simplicity of daily life here and always look back on it fondly.
Have a great Christmas,
Emily, Grant, Jane and the whole family at PCC