This set of letters stands for the combination ‘News, Views, Recommendations, Questions’.  We warmly invite contributions (not normally more than 250 words) of those kinds. They should be sent to John Howes, whose addresses are at the foot of the ABOUT page. Contributions appearing below will be from and/or about members of Learningguild, unless otherwise stated.

RANGA, whose full name is Warnakulasuriya Christopher Ranga Waas, was a student in Melbourne 1997-8. Now 45, he is a teacher in a government school in his home country Sri Lanka. He has written: “These days I teach maths, English and science for 4th grade students. I want to go to another school to teach boys and girls from 10 to 13.” (December 2021)

DAVOUD ZOLGHADR, his wife SANAZ BAGHAEEFAR and their daughters SHAIDA (7) and SHAMIM (3) have moved to Point Cook, south-west of Melbourne. In October John and Margaret Howes and Michael (John’s brother) and Dorothy travelled there by car so that all four could at last have a post-lockdown haircut from Sanaz, an experienced hairdresser and beautician. There will be flyers inviting people to benefit from Sanaz’s skill and/or from Learningguild. (December 2021)

SYANO MUSYIMI, originally from Kenya, gained a Ph.D. at the University of Bristol, England, for a thesis in philosophy. During his time there he came to a conference at Wollongong and later spent some time in Melbourne. He is now a recruitment consultant in London. He sent us this story in September 2021. “I recently returned to the UK after six months in Kenya, which is on the UK’s so-called red list. This means that only British citizens can return directly, and then have to spend a ten-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel at a cost of over ₤1700. This is beyond most people’s budget, and certainly beyond mine. “I was most fortunate that my aunt, now in her eighties and unable to fly, gave me all her air-miles. I then had to search for answers to two questions. Which country would give me travel entry without quarantine? From which such country, if I stayed there for two weeks, could I fly directly to the UK without the need for the above-mentioned quarantine? I did find one ‒ the USA! So I bought a ticket from Nairobi to Chicago for a flight that took over twenty hours. I then used the two weeks in the USA to see friends in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. Thanks to my aunt, I had just enough air-miles left to purchase a ticket from Los Angeles to London. Thirty-two hours of flight had included flying over London on the way to America.” (December 2021)