Time to say thank you
As we start to pack our bags, this first phase of the Restorers without Frontiers project has almost come to an end. The final piece is the dinner to be hosted by His Grace the Archbishop tomorrow night with all the students.
On behalf of all those who have taken part in this extraordinary fulfilling and life changing experience, I would like to thank His Grace Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao for having invited us to the all embracing care of the Archbishop’s House. We were given a fabulous big meeting room turned into a functional studio which spilled into the garden on one side and an inner courtyard on the other, which students accessed with immense pleasure.
Tomorrow will see the culmination of this very intense collaboration between all those who came from UK (Elizabeth, Joanna, Anna, Jennie, Ruthie, Zuraida, Georgina and I) together with the local students (Eveny, Rhea, Milena, Wynzel, Manu, Joseph, Sandesh and Caetano). The input and commitment from all of them has been extraordinary, and the results speak for themselves. It will be sad to say goodbye to the Goan team, but I will make sure that the good work will continue and I will be online checking every few days.
Father Loiola has been our mentor and guardian angel; with his patience, kindness and care he has made sure we had everything we could possibly need. I would like to thank Father Valerian for his encouragement, Father Manuel for providing old photos of the portraits, the nuns of the household who have fed us delicious local dishes, Matthew who seemed to have all possible imaginable tools and Dominic who greeted us with a smile every morning.
Outside the Archbishop’s family we have been touched by so many we have met in Goa, whether it’s the wonderful sisters at the Nirmala Institute who provided a haven for us and for many of the students from the UK, the staff at Bodega and Sunaparanta for providing a haven and the best cakes, or the people who provided scooters and cars through Karpesh, the great fixer. We have been lucky to meet other restorers like Rita Gordo, privileged to have spent time with Natasha from the Museum of Christian Art, and had great discussions with Jason and Anthony about how to achieve real change in the future.
Finally I would like to thank all those who have read this blog. It was originally intended for the students in London together with family and friends, but I gather that many more have been reading it. I hope that you will get in touch, and maybe we could begin a working collaboration and spread the word to grow Restorers without Frontiers.