The kids ran out to greet me as soon as they saw me crossing the overgrown sporting field in front of their classrooms. Some shouted "Bulai, bulai, bulai" and jumped up and down. Others called me by name and skipped towards me their smiles flashing.
It's been 6 weeks since I've been here and I'm not prepared for the decay. This happens everytime. The shock the state of the school leaves me in... crumbling concrete and broken doors. But there is joy here. And learning.
When I walk into the classroom the first thing I see is books. There is a whole shelf full of them. They are scattered across desks. In an untended classroom children sit with their new resources. One boy traces a figure from a story book. Another pours through an anthology of fabels. A group of girls read to each other, laughing. Another sings to herself softly as she turns the pages of a book full of photos of Africa. I can't help but be moved by the experience and grateful for everything that was able to come together to make it happen.
I hand the heavy bag slung over my shoulder to the teacher. Activity books this time. There are 86 of them plus 5 wall charts to hang in the classroom. He immediately pulls out a bundle of math books for early learners and starts handing them out to the year 1+2s. The students take their workbooks with grateful smiles and then impress me with their English numbers.
I spend some time with the students. We read and sing songs. We play with snapchat filters. They show me stuff - their favourite books, something they drew, the world globe, the hole in a hose outside that is shooting water out like a sprinkler and brings back memories of my own childhood running across the lawn through spouts of water on summer days... I can almost smell the damp grass and hear my dog barking with glee and confusion at the tremendous site before him.
I am exhausted by the time I get home. These village visits always take it out of me. I keep expecting to get used to it but I don't and am overwhelmed every single time.
Scroll down to see photos from today's visit.
Next week we're taking more books to Selpele Village. Stay tuned!