Today. Was. AWESOME! We started early, with a 7:30 am meeting with the school administration to talk about the community, PUC, and future projects. Next came a tour of the classrooms where the tragic and over crowded learning conditions were juxtaposed by jovial smiles and warm greetings everywhere we went. For example, every time we entered a classroom the kids stood up and said “Education is the key to life. Welcome. How are you?” Even though they were crammed in rooms with 100+ kids, they could not have been happier to see us.
Next, we took a look at the Team Tanzania 2015 project (a latrine/shower area for the girls with albinism) and made sure everything was working as it should be. Good news – it was in perfect shape! Proving PUC has had a long, sustainable impact on the Pongwe community.
About this time, the younger kids were getting out of school (half day on Friday) and were running around trying to play. Siri and Garrett hopped into a game the kids were playing similar to “Monkey in the Middle”. Rachel, Sara, and Arlene went to meet with the head teacher for kids with disabilities where they were trying to get some insight into how the kids learn and develop over time. Xoab and Kate rotated between these activities and talking with the contractors about construction – they’ll be working on the roof soon!
The last half of the day was a blur of fun. Garrett had a drumming circle going for at least an hour, where he taught the kids beats. We drummed and sang to Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and the children sang their own songs. It was hilarious to hear kids singing a gibberish versions of our songs and rhythms throughout the day. Sara is amazing and has inclusive activities planned with the visually impaired children daily. The language barrier is so difficult, but we’re trying our best with a translator. The children love to laugh at us and the older kids who know some English understood our frustrations so we all just ended up laughing together. Thank goodness laughter is a universal language.