Coming Full Circle

We worked with the entire primary school today, bringing colorful flags, posters and crayons to the kids responding to their calls last evening for color, color. Many teachers were absent, so it was a strange scene for us to observe, and I guess a good day for us to be present although we all were conflicted at some point in the morning. There literally was a class of kindergarteners and 2nd graders sitting under their respective huts without adult supervision. After we opened with the P5 & 6 classes, Whitney spent the morning with these little ones. Nick and I worked the rest of the classes P1, 2, 3, & 4, going back and forth between the classes, as there was only one of these classes with a teacher. We never were able to fully grasp what the story was given the language barrier. This has not been our experience in previous visits, but we know it to be a challenge of education in rural areas in developing nations. Our impact may not have been as significant as we find it to be with other classes, yet, on a day that many of them were left on their own, we showed up with color.

We attend to another child with a swollen foot and wound here as well. A traveling nurse is in the village for one of two visits for the month. We learned this last night as a bell was rung and it was announced to the village.  I struggle a bit with the situation, as there is discussion over a $1.20 tetanus shot. Of course we ensure this happens, and clean and dress the wound again before departing. Patrick is one of the kids I had described in detail to Nick and Whitney that I was so excited for them to meet. He is a vibrant young boy, full of light to the point he nearly glows, and the bounce in his normal walk looks like he nearly walks on air. So it seems even more challenging to watch him hobble around, his light a little dimmer. He was one of the ones that is super excited about the color, color!

We return from the village and head to our afternoon session with the EP group.  This afternoon the project comes full circle in some ways when we share the 10- minute video with them. To see their joy and laughter as they watched themselves projected on the wall is something we will never forget! For Nick, he could fully reap the benefits of all those hours of editing and putting this together be seeing the excitement of these children. We also shared the gifts of storybooks from Barnwell Elementary School; they were super excited to see all the books! In fact, we had a couple of kids that have moved onto JSS that we invited to join us that were leaders of the project last year. They wanted to read the books as well. Thank you Mrs. Stiers and Mrs. Woodman for this phenomenal idea and all the work of your students. We get a little closer to completing the index cards letters for St. Andrews School. We had to stop printing photos as a huge gully washer storm came in. We all sat together for another hour listening to the rain on the tin roofs. Rain can be very cleansing, and we wash away our worries, reflecting on what we are able to make brighter remembering that sometimes you need rain to form a rainbow.

Fall Exchange 2008admin