Madagaskar: THE WEEK – 11/09/2022

The question everybody asked was of course whether the school opened for the new school year. The answer is a definite ‘yes’, but not without issues and concerns though. The first hitch, being the fact that the toilets were unfinished and they had to make do with low walls and no doors. Many of our desks were damaged beyond repair by the move and after years of service, so not enough place to sit. There was no running water yet and we are dependant on the goodwill of the neighbours to draw water from their well until Jirama connects us to the municipal water. Keeping the goodwill seemed easier said than done as it turns out that as soon as even a bucket or a tool was left outside, it would disappear only to show up at the neighbours. We don’t have storage and at the end of the working day all the tools and material gets locked up in the classrooms and this goes for bricks too.

Antonin, who is the Grade 5 teacher, has turned his chicken coop at home into a classroom as we are one room short. They were not able to finish in time, therefore, we followed the Africa way; school under a mango tree.

We were all in a frenzy on Monday to clean the rooms, assemble desks and blackboards and to try and make it resemble a school. I admit that I had some moments of serious disheartenment when I let my eyes wander over the unplastered walls and dusty exterior.

Tuesday morning was spent to sort out the students’ writing books and they went home early. I was totally speechless when I walked into class on Wednesday morning and realised that teaching was in full swing despite all the obvious hindrances. The children were happy and the parents passed by throughout the morning to see how things were going. In fact, it seems as if the only one bothered by anything was…ME!

“Teacher, look at my first writing for the year.”

Dries and I reflected on it all this week-end and we had to admit that it was absolutely amazing that we have a functioning school after starting with so little. We have a super team and I have not heard one of them complaining. I have learned once again that we have to give thanks in all circumstances for all things.

Dries will start work on the supporting pillars for the back walls in preparation of the construction of one of the retaining walls. He managed to get the Land Rover going and that will be a big help.

Have a great week.

Kontak en bankbesonderhede


Bank: ABSA, Lynette de Jager, Rekeningnr: 1410142909, Takkode: 632005

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