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    Day 63
    Hector (MCS 2009-2020 and exiting Captain of School) (Guest Contributor)

    It is Saturday ... time for a different fresh voice again. Over the last 4 Saturdays we have had:
    1.Colonel Graeme Wearmouth (MCS 86-90) 
    2. A “veteran” (sorry Bill !) Bill Donaldson (MCS 44-49) Captain of School, former Teacher and very much a member of our Merchistonian community, 
    3. Peter Dickson (MCS 80-87) a Merchistonian serving God in the local community. 
    4. Today we have Hector (MCS 2009-2020) ... (yes really, he has been here 11 years!). He leaves as Captain of School this year, 71 years after Bill did!!  In 2019 he became the 2nd youngest person ever to complete the Marathon de Sable ... essentially five back to back marathons in the Sahara desert. 

    Four Merchistonians separated by almost three quarters of a century but with remarkably similar values and attitudes to life. 

    Every generation, every person is affected differently ... yet every generation is learning and giving where they can. 

    Over to you Hector ...

    As a year group we had a lot to look forward to this term: summer sports, the ritual of the end of school, the chance to say goodbye to friends and teachers and, yes, even the chance to prove ourselves in exams. 
     
    We have lost all of this and it would be understandable for us to feel a lot of regret. However, there are always two ways to look at things and the secret to building resilience is to find the positives in situations. And positives there are. 
     
    We may not be able to sit exams, but we have all now thoroughly learned our courses and will be spending time learning new things rather than revising the old. I for one am really looking forward to studying courses on astrophysics, geology and on the oceans. We may not be playing sports together, but it is amazing to see how creative the whole school has been in their training and it has been fun to share these ideas. I have been able to do a lot more cycling which has been great for my cardiovascular fitness, although not so good for my skin as I now have a bad case of sunburn (please don’t think sunscreen is unnecessary in Scotland!). 
     
    What’s more, we may not be together in person, but we have come together virtually to enjoy each other’s company with quizzes and catch ups, but also to help others.
     
    It has been great to see how many boys and staff have invested their time to help others who are in worse situations than we are. We have decided to help a charity which supports families in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, a cause many Merchiston staff, pupils and parents have supported over the years. Now more than ever this charity is in desperate need of help. Working in teams and in houses we hope collectively to “virtually” get to Bulawayo from Edinburgh by running, cycling or partaking in any form of exercise over the month of June. Over 13,000 km!
     
    The message I want to give is that no matter how bad a situation may originally look, there is a way to find positives and to help others in situations like these.
     
    Please do help us towards our goal to reach Bulawayo 

    ... back to Rev Blair

    Dear God,
    thank you for what I am learning, and in whatever situation I find myself this Saturday help me, however, hard it is, to concentrate on what I do have rather than on what I don’t.
    Amen