Friends and Flowers
Well, we made it through the night! We woke up from our lovely stay at the Bluu Nile, packed up and had Spanish omelets for breakfast. We drove down to Keroka to pick up a man named Evans. There were people everywhere because today was market day. We saw them selling all sorts of things. There were eggplant sized avocados, suit jackets, fresh fruit and anything in between. To get to the school, we turned off the main road, onto a very steep dirt road. I am amazed that our big van made it up!
We were greeted by the kids before we even reached the school.
They were standing on the road waiting for us, and chased the van the rest of the way to the school. As soon as the van stopped, the doors flew open and the kids flooded in. I didn’t even have time to grab my backpack. We were each escorted by a group of kids over to the rest of the school. There were around 250 students at this school. It was so cute! They were all singing to us when we got there. We started off our visit to the school with a tour. This was a boarding school so first we saw the girls bunk room. On a normal size bunk bed, there were four girls sleeping; two per bed. Then we went to their bathrooms and their showers, both were outside, and neither had running water. It was funny, every time we came out of a building the children would start singing again. They were so eager to show us their classrooms when we went in. This school was one of the schools waiting to get the shipments of books. They had a library all set up that was even dedicated to Don and Pat.
The places you will go
It looked really nice. This was a very high performing school and getting a library was a very big deal to them! All the kids seemed so eager to learn.
A ray of reading
I brought along two copies of, “Oh! The Places You Will Go!” by Dr. Seuss to Africa, and I thought this would be a good school to share it at. All the kids crowded into a classroom and sat so quietly and waited for me to read. They were so fun to read to, whenever anything good happened they would all go, “Oh wow!” and they would sound so worried when bad things would happen. I was really glad I could share the message of that book with them. We had a big meeting with all of the teachers, the Minister of Education’s personal assistant (he’s a big deal) and a few people from the press were there to interview Pat and Don! I even got interviewed talking about my book drive and reading, “Oh! The Places You Will Go!” I spent a lot of time playing with these kids and talking to them.
I was just standing in front of them listening to them sing, and when they finished their song they looked at me and all of them instructed me to sing! It was honestly a little intimidating to be in front of 250 children with the most amazing singing voices I have ever heard, and then there was me (in case you have never been on a road trip with me I am soooo never going to be a famous singer). I was stuck up in front of all these kids waiting for me to sing, and all I could think of was, “Oops, I Did it Again” by Brittany Spears. Instead, I called my dad up to rescue me and the two of us taught them Old McDonald. They were really great.
Through the window
The next school we went to was another one that was tricky to get to, but it was again very worth it. There was already a library at this school that Don and Pat wanted to check up on, and these kids were amazing too! The kids are just so excited to meet all of us and so attentive! While my dad and Don and Pat were in a meeting I took the opportunity to talk to the kids. The library that the Don and Pat had helped them build was beautiful, so I borrowed a few story books and a book of poems to read with the kids. I would take volunteers for kids to come read the poems in front of the group, and they were eager to do it. I read probably five story books to them, and everyone was hooked! Even the parents sitting in the crowd were really into the story and looking at the pictures. After each book I would stop and ask if they wanted to keep reading or go play, and each time they asked me to read another.
We ran a few more errands, including stopping at a roadside stand and picking up 8 eggplant size avocados for about 50 cents! (They are amazing and would make the best guacamole ever…Alex!!!) We got back to the hotel at like 8:30 and went to the restaurant and we all ordered spaghetti! It was exactly what I needed. We came back to the room, I took a shower and collapsed in my bed.