In the weeks that followed Hazel’s death, her family received some wonderful letters from the pupils at Otjikondo school, Namibia, where Hazel had spent such a happy and successful gap year in 2001/2.
Hazel’s brother Peter returned to Otjikondo for a gap year of his own two years later.
Here are some extracts from the many letters received, printed with the sincere thanks of Hazel’s family.
Dear Peter’s family
I hope you are fine although you are sad. I was also very sad to hear the bad news. She was very kind, she help us with the drama things, with the clocks for parent’s day. We thank her for all she has done for Otjikondo P.S. But don’t be sad, we must say thank you to God who have guard her all throughout her life although she was very young. She will still be in my daily prayers
…and she was very nice that she was like family to us. She said she could come back after three years.
I hope you are doing well. Peter I am not happy because your sister is away.
How are you. Hazel was like a mother to us. I want to thank you for sending her to us. Now she is gone. Rest in peace
I know it is very sad that our friend Hazel has passed away. I am also sad because of Hazel. Do you know that good times never return but memorys do. There is also a time for sadness and a time for gladness but now it’s a time of sadness and the only place we can visit her is in our dreams and harts and minds. But don’t worry things come and go.
Love from Evely Karunga
Dear Peter’s family,
I hope you are doing well. I am fine here at Otjikondo. My name is Elana Doeses. Peter knows me. By the way we at Otjikondo also was told that Hazel past away and we are very sorry for you. You know Hazel meant a lot to me. I always want to be like her, she showed her love to everyone and she never cared what anyone said to her. Ithink you are very lucky to have someone like her in your family. I find it hard to understand she is gone but we must accept it. She was too good and God loved her for that, that’s why he took her. Now that she’s gone lets try to be someone like her to show the people what we Hazel’s friends and family are really made of. Please just keep on praying.
Love Elena XXX/ Kiss
Dear Peter’s family,
Hi. I just want to say with my sad heart May Hazel rest in peace. God have call her back home. It is very hard to say good-bye to someone who is very special friend for us. I give a very big thanks to Hazel for doing for us things at Otjikondo, Teaching us games, sports and Hazel was also a very good soccer player and runner. I have also lost my mother in 2002 and I was very, very, very sad if you don’t have a mother on earth. My mother’s name was Magdaleona and my sister have also past away in 2000 But I will miss Hazel very much because she was my best, best, best friend. I was always writing her letters. You will maybe get my letters in her room..
…I will never forget what Hazel have done for us. I really thank her very much and I pray to God so that her heart and soul rest in peace.
…She was very helpful, she did not only think about herself. She was always there to help everyone. May she rest in piece.
…She was a great person, never only think about herself. You did have such a nice girl. She did really show a nice example during her life-time. She is a model for us now.
…and we have to be strong just like the way she was always and every time that she always tried to be kind and helpful every time. I can tell you now she was good to me. She taught me gymnastic flip-over without touching the ground or floor, even how to draw and how to behave and I’ll never forget them ever. Greet Peter as well, “Mr Rubbish” that’s what I called him as he always called everything rubbish, like “oh, this food is rubbish” or “this rubbish is such a rubbish”.