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Lockdown, LOCKDOWN!  A scary, somewhat terrifying thought, I felt unsteady emotionally at the announcement that we were to stay at home for an indefinite period of time and to take it very seriously.  However, I soon realised the blessing that this has meant for me, personally.  I was at home in the place that I love being in, my safe spot, my haven.  I could spend time doing things I usually put off, I could work in the garden, I got to spend special times with my older son, Pete, who had come to stay with us from Johannesburg for Lockdown.  In short, I thanked God for this time of peace and tranquility in the midst of all the doubt and tension around me.   Then the end of the holiday period arrived, and I began frantically to prepare for the start-up of the new term in a much different way, distance learning via emails to parents, videos and WhatsApp chats.  To say that I got myself in a spin would be an understatement.  I doubted myself hugely, was convinced I couldn’t do it, was sure the Grade R parents might not feel their children’s learning needs would be met.  And yet I started the term, along with all the other Prep teachers, and with the Lord’s help through daily prayer and petition to help me, I began to get into the routine and swing of doing things differently.  There is still a special connection between myself and the Grade R children, and we enjoy sending each other videos, photos and chatting now and then about our activities through the week.  However, the connection is keener, because we miss each other and realise the value of our relationship through not seeing each other.  Each video or message that comes to our phones to or from one another is a moment of excitement and connection.  This Lockdown has brought with it many blessings, including personal growth, for which I will be eternally thankful.

#thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

Mrs Linda Reynolds (Grade R Teacher)

Be prepared to be touched! I firmly believe that language can never express the full “Treverton experience.” Behind the entrance gate lies a hidden gem, interwoven with immense natural beauty, a caring, unified, closely-knit community, and a constant awareness of God’s sovereign splendour. And yet, Treverton encompasses even more… Spectacularly florid orange sunrises introduce warm, blithe days. The aroma of coffee fills the crisp early morning air as I cast my eye contently across luscious green fields. In the distance the majestic hills stretch far beyond the limitless horizon. This place, where time stands still – where silence is audible, where man and Nature cohabitate in perfect unison and one is inspired to stop –  take it all in!

Yet, as if by magic, the aforementioned is but the tip of the iceberg, as in Treverton I have found so, so much more. Here, pupils are empowered to be the very best they can be, inspired to discover their innermost potential and worth. Life is celebrated to the full. Each individual is recognised for his own talents, uniqueness and God given authenticity. The whole child is developed. Education is holistic, activities varied. We revel in academics, literature, culture, poetry, art, environmental science, language, music, physical education and the dramatic arts. We are one, inextricably linked by the fibres of our being – unified by our love for God, care for each other and our respect for our unique planet, Earth. Highly skilled staff, committed adults passionately love and support the young individuals entrusted to them. The Equestrian Centre and Wildlife Reserve steals your breath from your chest, whilst the dam and canoe-club ensure hours of fun, togetherness and a sense of belonging. The spirit of the children is catching and their sense of unity and togetherness, humbling.

Treverton is more than the boarding houses overflowing with love, more than the sports fields bursting with activity, more than the state of the art theatre hosting incredible talent, more than the bustling squash courts, well-equipped classrooms, challenging rock climbing walls, busy gym and the beautiful chapel. It’s a place of solace, a brushstroke on the canvas of the stunning Drakensberg. A playground where barefoot children and teens can skip through grass under the watchful eyes of arching rainbows. Here unlimited stars bedeck the humid, African sky.

Be prepared for the unexpected, be prepared to be surprised – be prepared to be touched!

#thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

Ms Elmarie Vosloo (Drama – College)

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to schools both here and abroad has been secure online assessment. Until recently no-one had an answer. Sweden has one of the most advanced education systems in the world. Due to Covid-19 Sweden has made their Exam.Net platform freely available. We will be using this as our platform for all secure formal online assessments.

“Walk through” the program for a comprehensive “how to” | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFkUy3n-SzE

#thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

How has lockdown been for me? What are my impressions? Someone suggested to me that I approach this from the angle of adventure and in some ways I can, but I am not going to use this as an opportunity to tell you an adventure story…you can wait for that as its best done in person.

I have not suffered during this lockdown, and I am including from anxiety. I cannot pretend that the lockdown has impacted me in the same way as it has impacted millions of the poorest members of society. I have not had to wonder about money or food running out. While it might be true to say that I would be foolish to think that my job is secure, I also don’t have to worry about that in the same way as many people who almost certainly will lose theirs through the impact this has had on small and medium-sized businesses country-wide.

Rather, during a time like this, I see it as an opportunity to shift focus to other areas. For many of us, work dominates a major part of our lives and we struggle to balance other areas that should be as or more important.  Importantly, this includes family. I have had the opportunity to spend more time with my wife, Kate, and my daughter Micaela, than ever before because I am basically always at home. These times when Micaela is growing up pass quickly, and they cannot be relived. They are developmental times, and it is really special to see those changes as she faces the challenges of walking and working towards her first words. They are times to be relaxed, to talk, and to just be around one-another.

This also includes time to just catch up with things that you put off because you are busy elsewhere with work. You may catch up with your hobbies, or you may develop a new hobby or skill. You may even look at this as a time to consider your goals. You are living in an increasingly competitive world that you will be stepping out into in the next couple of years. Do you have goals? Are you well equipped with the right skills? Do you even know what skills are needed? There is nothing stopping you from taking stock and considering what goals you really have. And what skills you could need. Can you achieve any of those skills from home? Chances are, many skills can be worked towards from home if you use the internet, especially the YouTube platform to guide yourself.

But what if your goals are sports related as well? You have been encouraged to take part in sports-related activity during the lockdown period, but your response may have been something like…’there is no real point because there is no astro around, no team-mates, and there are no fixtures’. True. But personal skills are part of the deal, and when you emerge from the tunnel of lockdown into the light, you will play. To use hockey as the example, the best players are:

  • Agile
  • Fast
  • Have stamina
  • Have good ball skills
  • Have refined their position but are useful elsewhere
  • Conditioned against injury
  • Have a sense for group tactics
  • Have a sense for team spirit on and off the field

My bet is that no one ticks all those boxes. But the best player can work towards ticking a box or boxes that they know need ticking. So why don’t you? You can work at many of these in your home or in your yard. I have a niggling injury that was affecting my kayaking last term. The lockdown provided an opportunity to rest and to see if I could work at rehabilitating it. That is not time wasted.

To use an analogy from adventure…the time taken waiting in a tent for a storm to pass is not time wasted. For one, it is wise and safe, but it is also a time of physical and mental recovery, and a time to plan ahead in such a way as to increase the chance of achieving your goal. So, again, what are your goals?

But above all, lockdown can be likened to a wilderness experience. Biblically, it would seem that a wilderness experience is important. Instant social gratification is removed. We see Moses spending 40 days on Mount Sinai, we see Elijah having a wilderness experience at Horeb for 40 days, and we see Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days as well. Well, as I write this, we are not far from our own proverbial 40 days.

But the purpose of these three examples of wilderness experiences was to spend more time with God, often at a pivotal time in their lives. COVID-19 is not really in the hands of man. If it was there would not be any COVID-19. Any control of COVID-19 has been through that which God has blessed us with anyway, and what I mean by that is that, as an example, the immune systems of the survivors of COVID-19 are a gift from God – no man made your immune system. And that is a small example. Do you see COVID-19 as part of a world fallen in sin? Do you see the need for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the face of the enormity of sin? Concerning the 200 000 deaths due to COVID-19, have you thought about where these people have gone…. where are their souls?

The point is this: Who is God to you in your lockdown period? Have you read his word? Have you prayed? For yourself, for your friends, for the poor, and for your leaders? Have you prayed for Treverton and especially your headmaster who has had to navigate a very difficult scenario?

This is a great opportunity for that kind of connection. We, as the staff, have been able to meet for prayer every day at 5:00pm. And what a wonderful thing that is. You could do much the same.

#thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

Mr Derek Brown (Head of Life Sciences – College)

Skulking. That’s what I was doing. Sitting in the car, watching the long line of socially distanced shoppers outside Shoprite, praying that it would get shorter. I wanted it to get shorter so that I could hide inside my big, sweat-making ski-jacket (okay, I’ve never been ski-ing, and it’s just the outer jacket, bought per kg from the secondhand clothing store years ago), and behind my face mask and my glasses to brave the new world outside my safety net. This was my second of three shop stops on day 32 of lockdown.

My pre-washed shopping bags, purse and phone at the ready, I sanitised my hands and donned the jacket and mask. Oops. The mask was upside down! Giggling, with no one to share the moment (how I miss my colleagues and our laughing), I accepted the complimentary hand sanitiser at the door (double dosing, yes!), grabbed a trolley, wiped it down and headed down the aisles. I suspiciously eyed anyone who came too close to me, especially those not wearing masks. And then I thought of those folks who have to do the shopping run in places like Durban, Cape Town and Gauteng, the epicenters of this covert Covid-19. And I felt safe in my Mooi River cocoon.

My previous stop had been at PK’s in top town, who deliver the yummy baked items in their vans to Treverton so often. I wondered how many people know it stands for Prince Kamboli? And I wondered how they were managing without our big orders. As I was paying for my goods, someone bumped into my posterior, deliberately I knew. I tried to ignore it, but BUMP, there it was again. I turned around to give whoever it was my best Sr Peter disapproving stare. It was Gloria Buthelezi!! My friend and colleague, who I have not seen since lockdown started. Such joy and laughter, followed by a reaching out; a stopping. “Oh no, I can’t hug you!” Another reality check.

Last stop. The Mooi River Mall, to Pick ‘n Pay. Distancing is strict here – no one is allowed into the store without one of the big trolleys, and at all times you have to keep it between yourself and the other customers. Some quite interesting dancing in the aisles is required to maintain this as best as possible! On the way in and out of the mall, I saw two other members of the Treverton community. I discussed masks and disinfectants with one and gave some minor medical advice to the other. Who knows when we will meet again? Skulking. That’s what I do. In the background when my husband teaches, I hope to catch the sound of the voices as pupils greet him or ask questions. Once, I dared to interrupt and said, “I miss you, Max”. There are so many new realities we will have to deal with when we eventually see each other face-to-face. But the blessing of being together as a community at last will be worth the weird and wacky new ways.
#thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

Sr Adie Peter (College Nursing Sister)

Living in Mooi River, under lockdown level 4, we are not in a position to order food deliveries as in the big cities. However, as a community, we enjoyed supper on Sunday evening, apart but together with a Potjie and Pancake Supper Drive-Thru. #thetrevertonexperience www.treverton.co.za

Su Huggett (Head of Marketing)

South Africa observes International Workers‘ Day on 1 May as a public holiday. Workers‘ Day, also known as May Day, originated within the historical struggles of workers and their trade unions for solidarity between working people, and in their struggles to achieve fair employment standards.

This year, Workers’ Day was observed slightly differently on the Treverton Campus. It’s times like these that one is reminded of just how incredibly fortunate we are, to work and live in this particular community.  Brought together by vocation and strengthened by faith.
Su Huggett (Head of Marketing)