When I first travelled to Sal in 2018 it felt personal; personal, as I was accompanied by family; personal as Sal has, for a long time prior to my first visit, felt like a distant but resonant echo as a result of my wife Andrea’s and my son Harry’s heritage here in Cape Verde. Over the months that have passed, at times, Sal has felt like a professional obligation; The Beach School Project has consumed my time, my finances and my career. However, as we come to the end of the first phase of our 2019 teaching, once again Sal has ceased to feel professional, ceased to feel like something I am “working” on and begun to feel more like home.
In a day or so I return to England; tired, emotional, proud and… if for no other reason… joyful in anticipation of returning to watch an English spring unfold in Heaton Park. However, we leave steeled in our resolve to return once more to Cape Verde in May to begin phase two of The Beach School Project and constant in our gratitude to The Resort Group and The Cape Verde Foundation for their tireless support in making the first phase of our project so successful.
This month we have confirmed arrangements to extend our work during the summer months; in addition to our ongoing collaboration with schools, youth associations, and adult learners in Espargos and Santa Maria, we will also begin to work with inmates due to be released in Cadeira Regional Do Sal. As someone who is passionate about both the redemptive role of education and the power of language to support social mobility, I am thrilled to be able to extend our work in this way. Education changes peoples’ lives; it changed my own. The Resort Group and The Cape Verde Foundation have been instrumental in allowing us a platform from which we can continue to support English and education in Sal.
From an early age, people I’ve met, my headteachers, my bosses, my family and my friends, have always told me that I talk too much, (well maybe if someone else had something decent to say! ) Well, for once, I truly feel as though the concluding words of this series of blogs are better said by others who have experienced The Beach School Project this month… as the Chinese proverb (sort of) goes, sometimes a spectator sees more of the sport.
Project Leader – The Beach School Project.