Posted: 22nd January 2018

On Sunday 14th January people passing through the concourse in Clongowes on their way to Mass may have been surprised to see two cyclists on the road in their midst. The onlookers might well have asked themselves: Where on earth are they off to? They would have been even more surprised to learn that they were cycling from Johannesburg to Malealea in Lesotho – both well-known metropoles on the African continent!

Well, there is nearly always an explanation for everything! Our brave cyclists were part of a relay team of Rhetoric students, who were making the symbolic journey of c.550 km, which they had done by road on their way as Pilgrims, Servants and Students to the people of that tiny community of Malealea – a bit beyond the back of beyond!

Led and inspired by Great Leader, Mr Cormac Rochford, we arrived a full hour-and-a-half ahead of schedule – and he deserves our thanks for his energetic lead-from-the-front approach, which saw him on-his-bike at 6.30 in the morning. All his disciples in Rhetoric would like to thank him for enabling them to make this further contribution to their unforgettable African Immersion Experience last Easter.

And a very special THANKS to all those – Parents, Staff, Students and Visitors – who helped raise the wonderful sum of over €1,000 to give the children in a small extra-hours school in Paleng, where these young people are welcomed and given a better chance to explore and enjoy the benefits of reading and other educational pastimes. We are sure that this year’s Poets can now look forward to an even greater welcome in Paleng in March.

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu – people become people thanks to people!

Fr Michael Sheil, SJ

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