I write from Thorney, a village north of London outside Peterborough, England, with friendship links with Bouna village, Guadalcanal.

I visited our friends there last year and was so impressed with their lifestyle, close family life, and outgoing attitude of the people. There is no access to school unless the children go to live in Honiara or board (some do that). The village had just miraculously started a kindergarten - immediately 60 children appeared. They have built a covered space, have helpers, but had no equipment apart from some beautifully made wooden building block.

Our friends are Dani Besa'a and Sue Mackie. When they lived here they took part in our community life so willingly - singing in the Church choir, Sue becoming the Treasurer of the Thorney History Society, Dani learning about pig farming and helping people in their gardens. In the same spirit of friendship we have raised some funds for their kindergarten. For example we have just sent some equipment from an education supplier in Sydney.

Dani and his family have a lot of ideas....so much enthusiasm, and realise the need to balance improvements so as not to lose valued traditions and ways of living.