Edmund Rice Plus
St. Edwards old girls ‘Gap’ experience with the brothers’ communities in Ghana and Peru.
This year Cath Wright and Zoe Hannah who left St. Edward’s College last summer decided to travel to Ghana and Peru on their own independent ‘immersion’ experience.
Here the girls tell us how they got on. Is this something you would like to do? Cath and Zoe would be happy to advise and mentor any former pupils who would like to undertake this type of trip to work with brothers’ communities in the developing world.
During our six-week stay with the brothers in Tamale, Ghana we were immersed in the local culture and were overwhelmed with the kindness of the local people. Visiting Kanvili R/C School was such an enlightening experience for both of us and we are so grateful to the brothers for giving us the opportunity to come and help around the school. During our time at the school we frequently visited the nursery helping the teachers there with the children, we also helped the children complete their literacy and numeracy tasks whilst also playing with them during their breaks. We also helped with the school’s spelling bee club, allowing the children to practice English with us. We also spent time observing Br. Anthony’s science lessons whilst also helping Br. Victor with administration work. We could not believe how fast the six weeks flew by, in the final days of our trip it felt like we had only arrived yesterday. We would like to emphasise just how thankful we are to of been given this opportunity and we want to thank Br. Victor, Anthony, Eric and Leo for making our time here so enjoyable. We will never forget this experience.
Visiting Peru was by far one of the most memorable places we have both ever visited. We were lucky enough to be able to split our time between doing voluntary work with the Christian Brothers; Hugo, Paul and Steven which included spending a week with an immersion group from the US, which was organised by Sister. Claire. We spent our week seeing all that Lima has to offer; spending the majority of our time in the community of Villa El Salvador. The friendships we formed during the week in Villa made our six weeks in Peru even more special as we frequently returned back to visit Midaley, Pati and their families. We also visited a primary school ran by Sister. Jacinta, and we spent time visiting Las Flores which is an area where the Brothers build houses with retreat groups for those who need them in the local community. We also had plenty of time to ourselves were we explored all areas of Lima and also ventured out to visit other places Peru had to offer. The most notable was our trip to Cusco in which we saw Machu Picchu, having to wake up at 4am to travel up to the mountains was all worth it, a definite must see, you will be overwhelmed with the beauty and how spectacular it is up there! We also traveled further down South from Lima to get to Paracas which made for a nice day out, you got to do boat trips to the islands to see wild sea lions, penguins and all species of birds. We also got to see the Paracas National Reserve along with old slave tunnels which really opened our eyes to Peru’s past. Peru was once again another unforgettable experience, we both think everyone should visit at some point!
We are both so grateful we were given the opportunity to travel for three months as we got to visit some amazing countries and we met people who we will consider our friends for life. If anyone is even contemplating it we say you should go for it, there is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered and doing voluntary work along the way helps you to appreciate everything so much more.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact either of us!
O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.