Why a guest House at HVM?
It is easy to understand why we should need a hospital, a school and so on – but a guest-house – why do we need that?
Each year we have folk who come from overseas and spend a short time to help us at HVM – a couple of weeks, a month or two or three. We have had folk from Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, America, France, Germany, New Zealand, Holland, South Africa etc.
We have had all of the following and more:
Eye surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, general surgeons, pharmacist, laboratory technicians, nurses, electricians, carpenters, builders, plumbers, engineers, architects, accountant, pastors, medical students, nursing students, gap year students.
We have had visitors from Tear Fund, Christoffel Blinden Mission, MAF, Gideons, AIM, SIM.
We have had pilots from MAF and Helimission who have stayed overnight or for several nights during a trip to Mandritsara.
We have had Malagasy visitors – pastors and leaders from the Baptist churches we work with, engineers and other specialist helpers, even the Minister of Health.
Oasis guest house was built on the hospital compound in 2006, next to the other staff houses, and includes accommodation for the hosts and 6 double guest rooms and living accommodation, kitchen etc. providing rooms for visitors and short term helpers. The accommodation at the rear of Oasis has since been split into two: with the hosts living in one part and Naomi Coleman living in the other part.
The first hosts of the guesthouse were Robert and Christine Blondeel, from Ypres Evangelical Church in Belgium, who ran it until 2012. In summer 2012 Marcus and Jen Watkins from Longmeadow Evangelical Church in the UK arrived to run the guesthouse until Spring 2013. From September 2013 Oasis has been run by Claudia and Sarindra. Claudia was the first teacher at the Good News School and Sarindra is the Head of the hospital maintenance team.
There is a second guesthouse in the town near the senior ‘Good News’ school building known as ‘La Boulangerie‘. This has four rooms, with living space as well as beds. It is very useful when a team of people want to stay. This is near by Seheno’s tiny restaurant where good meals may be purchased (suitable for westerners).