New School Building

Imagine with me for a minute. You are sitting in school with 50 to 70 other children in your class. You share a chair with another friend. With only a dirt floor that is pretty unlevel we have our challenges keeping our chair from tipping. Your teacher is in the front of the class teaching but you are having a hard time hearing. The class right next to yours is loudly repeating after their teacher (with no sound barrier in place). Just as soon as they finish their lesson there is a large truck driving past your classroom stirring up dust and further making any hearing difficult as there are no outside walls. The dust gets better as the rain starts to fall. You are really happy for the roof over your classroom and as long as the wind doesn’t come up to blow the rain you can stay pretty dry. The goats keep trying to come in from the rain too! It is quite funny to see them chewing the pictures off the makeshift walls especially when the teacher tries to shoo them out! Also entertaining is the sight of the school cooks trying to cook in the rain. Even though they are under the big tree outside they need to bring their fire and big cooking pots in under the same roof you are under. That is not so amusing as the smoke hurts your eyes. Earlier today hadn’t been too bad as the trash pit next to your class wasn’t smoldering so the smell and smoke from it didn’t bother you but now the cooking fires are creating all that smoke making your eyes burn and your nose fill with acrid smoke. It is a little hard to concentrate anyway but when you see your friends from another school hanging around you just want to get up and join them. Seems like there are constantly distractions from outside the nonexistent walls.
Exciting things are happening though! For months men from the village have been making bricks. They press them one at a time using part dirt, part quarry dust and part cement. Then they are left to cure rather than being fired. Glad they aren’t burning up more of our already limited supply of wood! There are thousands of bricks! It is good to see the guys working as they are too often idle. Now the bricks are being formed into a kitchen where the cooks can cook under a roof and with efficient stoves and where we can be served our posho and beans without being out in the sun or rain. You are excited to see the kitchen cooking area and storage as it comes into being. But even more exciting than that is hearing the plans for a six room school building that is planned to begin construction just after the kitchen area is finished! You can hardly imagine an actual classroom with walls to keep the distractions and sound out, a floor, windows and a door to each classroom (so the goats and rain can’t come in but cooling air can!) A place where you won’t have to store all your chairs and tables after each day but can just leave them in their places will be wonderful. You will be able to get more furniture and even have big blackboards for the teachers to use and storage places for supplies. Maybe even electricity! Lights, fans, audio and video all available with electricity! You will feel like a real school! You never thought you would even be able to attend a school at all. Now I will have a wonderful one and will be able to learn and learn and learn! Just imagine!

Pam