(Left to right) Janny van der Klis (AIM); Sandra Boomer; Andrew Thompson (Minister of Elmwood Presbyterian Church) and Alan Cousins (AIM)
LISBURN teacher Sandra Boomer is preparing to swap her Fort Hill Primary School classroom for a classroom in N'Djamena, Chad.
Sandra, who is going to teach for a year in a newly opened missionary school called Wellspring Academy, will be the third member of Elmwood Presbyterian to serve overseas with Africa Inland Mission.
The adventure begins on August 1 when she leaves Lisburn for N'Djamena via London and Paris. There are many challenges waiting for her. The school day starts at 7.30am and ends at 1.30pm in order to avoid the worst of the heat.
She will teach the equivalent of Year 8 in much smaller class sizes than in Fort Hill, which she admits will be a challenge for her.
The conditions will be very difficult, extremely hot, noisy and smelly.
Chad has three distinct climatic zones in the tropical south. Temperatures usually range from 20-25 degrees but can rise to 40 degrees before the rains.
The centre, where N'Djamena and Lake Chad are located, often exceed 45 degrees before the rain and it can get even hotter in the north of the country.
The supply of water and electricity are very erratic in N'Djamen, a even though it is the capital city so this is something else that Sandra will have to adapt to.
As well as this, Chad is a French speaking country so communication will also prove to be a challenge.
Despite the difficulties, this is something Sandra has had in her heart to do for a long time and she is looking forward to seeing how God will help her come through them all.