Last day in Kisii!

Kisii Travel Blog

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Today was the big day. I got to see the school that was going to get the books I gathered. The first school we visited already had a library. And while Pat and Don had meetings, my dad and I spent some time with the ECD (early childhood development) kids. They were so cute and happy to sing their song about shaking the mango tree for us. I chased them around a big field, and they would giggle as I swooped in and picked them up and spun them around. The bigger kids then put on a performance for all of us. One boy played the drum, and a group danced in costume. It has been very interesting to see the different costumes and performances each school has prepared for us. I left a bag of protractors, rulers and prizes for the students.


The next school we went to was called Miriri.

The second I stepped out of the van, I knew this was the school I wanted my books to go to. We were greeted by both students and parents singing a welcome song. It was great to see the mothers and grandmothers in their bright colored outfits dancing and singing alongside the children. There was so much enthusiasm in the atmosphere, it really got me excited about being there. All of us couldn’t help but smile at the performance. Then we were introduced to the teachers and staff, and then I found out about a very important program they have at Miriri. Out of all the schools we’ve visited on this trip, Miriri was the first to have a program designed just for special needs students. They had about four special needs students present today, and I was eager to meet them all. After we finished with introductions, we took a tour of the school. First we saw some of the classrooms, and the room where the library will be. The room has a dirt floor and four windows.
The walls are bare now, but I can imagine bright colored posters and pictures everywhere. I can’t wait to start making posters and maps to send to my new rafikis (that’s Swahili for friends!). There is a lot of room for great potential!


After the library, we ducked under a barbed-wire fence and crossed the road to a different set of buildings. At the bottom of a large dirt slope we found the special needs classroom. It looked very different from other classrooms I’ve seen on this trip. Instead of a bunch of desks crammed into the room, there was one long table running the width of the room. A few old posters were stuck on the walls, and a swing made from a single strand of rope hung from the rafters.

In the corner of the room, there was space for an indoor garden that had not yet been planted. My dream for this room would be to clean it up, get them a better swing, new posters, a fresh coat of paint and cots for the students to rest on. I would love to be able to provide them with things like toothbrushes, soap and a kitchen to help teach them skills like cooking and everyday hygiene. These goals were set by the teacher, but the school will need a lot of help in reaching them. Making the room more accessible is very high on my list. I was very intrigued to learn that the special needs students at this school had their own classes for a part of the day, but are integrated in with the other students for the majority of the day. I think this is very important for teaching the special needs students social skills, but also important for teaching the other students acceptance. It think they have already learned that very well, because as I looked at the students together, I could see that the special needs children were loved and cared for by the other students.


As we concluded our tour, there was a group of younger kids and parents sitting in the shade in the school yard. I took this as an opportunity to share with them my favorite book, “Oh, The Places You Will Go.” These kids may not have understood as much English as some, but I could tell they enjoyed hearing the words and the pictures. Even the parents craned their necks to get a good look as I held up the pages. A lot of the older kids were in the classrooms, so I went around and read the book to the classes four more times. Each class was responsive and eager to learn. This was the first picture book a lot of these kids had ever seen. I’m glad I got to be the first to share the experience with them with such a great and inspirational book! We finished up our stay at the school with me signing the book, and passing it on to the new librarian to start his collection.


It was really hard to say goodbye to this school and the kids. But I have a VEEEEERY strong feeling we’ll be back next summer. We visited one last school for this trip, and then called it a night.

alex_cheer says:
molly molly molly molly molly molly!!!!!! i misss you! :(
im (again) SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO jealouss sof you ! this is all sooooooo amazing :D
aaaaaaaaaaaanddd i know kayraeee alreadyy told you buttt i am going out with aaron :) :)
i would like to definantlyy thank you for everything you did to make that happen :) haha
i can not wait for you to get back todayY! :) annddd of course now that your getting back me and chelsea are going to cheer camp tuesdayy :( sooo im pretty much thinking that you and kayrae and chelsea ALL need to come to my nephews birthday party sunday at 2 pm at the McKay landing pool :) we can all hang outt cause anyone can come with me so you should come because i miss yoU!!!!!!!!!!!
you will NEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR guessssssss who broke up!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
(and no its not who youre thinking of )
but trevor my brother and his girlfriend :O
Posted on: Jun 12, 2009
Chelseaaaa says:
molly i miss you soo much!! i cant wait for you to get back and hear alllll about everything! :) this is so cool that you got to do all of this! you're making a difference and it's great! :) i love youuuu!!
Posted on: Jun 11, 2009
coogan5 says:
Molly your story is so inspiring, I am sooooooo proud of you. This sounds like an amazing school and I would agree with you there's big potential. Count me in on helping anyway I can! Seriously! When you get back let's talk about your dream becoming a reality! Hailey misses you so much. She's going to clean out the STORAGE (hah!) closet today. I know she will really miss you today! :} Be safe and enjoy-
Love the Coogans
Posted on: Jun 10, 2009
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