So at the exact second that we began our walk into town, the weather changed from a beautiful sunny hot day, to a down pour. We could not wait to go into town because if we did, we would not have returned home before dark. With no other choice, we made the 50 min hike into town and got soaked on the way. There are no trees here to hide under, so we became soaked instantly. The rain here is very cold and has huge drops. The roads all turn to mud and it becomes difficult to walk!
Today I was able to buy more textbooks thanks to the people from home who have donated! Because we have bought so many textbooks (nearly 230 plus the few that past volunteers brought) we have ran out of shelf room and have had to build book cases! I used the skills i learned in Mexico to help build these. All we have is a very old, rusty, bent, dull hand saw to cut the wood for these three shelf's. This is very difficult and I wish we had a better saw. The wood that we have is warped, split, and in horrible condition. We have somewhat successfully built two of the three, and are now hiring out for the third one because we ran out of time.
Last week I had the privilege of buying to bags of Maize (corn) for two very needy families. In order to save room, I will just tell you about one of them. This family consists of a single mother with 5 children. The father died 5 years ago of AID"s when the wife was pregnant with their youngest. The wife is also HIV positive and transferred it to their daughter Brenda at birth. These two are very fortunate because they are receiving medicine for free, which is what has kept them alive this long. The mom is too sick to work, and therefore cant provide for the needs of her family. She also cant afford to pay Brenda's school fees. The mom is dying a slow painful death, and Brenda, assuming she lives herself, will soon be a complete orphan.
Tutoring Robnson is going well, but it's hard to know that the few days that I spend with him wont make that much difference. I am going to make a note to future volunteers and hope that they will continue to work with him!
Today, I had my class draw pictures and then write stories about the picture. Many had never had the chance to hold crayons, colored pencils, and markers. I wasn't sure if they would actually write stories, but they all did and they are great!! I am going to be sad to leave my kids and all the students at school.
Right now I am reading a great book that my host brother Peter loaned me. It's called "What is the What" and I highly recommend it to all. It's a true story about a boy who was 7 when the civil war started in Sudan. His family was killed and he was forced to live in refugee camps with 40,000 other Sudanese, many of which were young orphan boys. He saw thousands of people die during his child hood, and saw even more suffering. I think everyone should read this as it's a great book, and it's recent. He eventually was able to move to the US, and it's interesting to see his experience there.
We are starting "store" at the school that the kids can earn stars and use those to buy things. So far we have bought pens, exercise books, and a few small things for it. We are hoping that future volunteers will continue to buy things for it.
Last weekend Meg and I went with Margaret to visit her family. I talked about her slightly in my last blog, but want to add more about this magnificent women. The father of her two boys began drinking and started to abuse her and her children. She had no choice but to leave him and move back in with her mother. He pays no child support and doesn't help out in anyway what so ever. Right now Margerat is making about $10 USD per month, $5 of that goes to send her oldest son, Staron to school. When we arrived the boys were in clothes that looked like rags. We took them a few things that people had donated to me to bring. I also just bought each of them another shirt and am going to buy Staron some exercise books for school. Margaret wants to go to college to become a teacher, but on her salary, this is not a possibility. She uses the little money that she has left to buy food for her family. When we were there, both her boys were sick, and Staron hadn't been to school for a week because of it. I have to wonder if he had an appropriate diet if he would be healthier.
We leave on Friday to go on our safari. I can't believe that my time here is almost up. I really want to thank those who have made this trip a possibility. So many people donated not only to send me here, but also to help out the people I have been working with. Thank you to Nick for supporting me in my decision to come. Thanks Mom, Paul, and Grandma for all your donations. Thanks to the Arndts, Shmitz, and everyone else for your donations of text books and Maize. You have no idea how much these things will help! And finally, thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with my blog!
Love you all,