This morning, the eight of us were welcome at the Red Rose School by the children in rows, all dressed with their red uniforms and singing different anthems to us. The scouts raised the flag and the director of the school introduced us to the 420 children.
After meeting with the teachers to talk about our program for the next two weeks, we visited the different classrooms where each grade greeted us with songs and questions. More than 15 rooms where 20-40 kids are seated on wood bench. Each of the seven teenagers were dispatched alone in classes and had their first individual interaction with the kids.
At recess, everyone played in the courtyard with each other and everyone of us got surrounded by many children who wanted to do high fives or shake our hand or try the cameras or ask questions. For lunch, they got ugali(corn flour boiled in water) with cabbage and kale.
On our side, we went to have lunch at Urban Burger at the local mall. Lots of snapchatting at the table.
We then left for Starray high school located in the slum where underprivileged kids from the age of 16 to 20 are inviting to continue their high school studies. Most of them had to stop because there are no parents at home, either sick or dead, or they joined a gang or got pregnant…the director spent lots of time with us explaining the objectives of the school and how they are saving these kids from hanging out in the slum by giving them the chance to come back and finish their studies.
We then went upstairs in a large room where the high schoolers from Staray performed for us songs and plays about environmental protection, respect due to the girls by the boys and peace. Lots of dancing and emotion…but also a big laugh when Malo started dancing in front everyone. Kids had so much fun together. A great moment.
We came back to the hotel to relax and had our evening journaling before dinner.
Here are some thoughts which came out during the meeting: “you cannot prepare yourself to this trip. So many shock factors. So many kids are happy. It seems like they have found happiness in many different ways we have forgotten or not paying attention to anymore in the US.” “The feeling I have tonight is indescribable. I felt confortable right away in the classes. I felt lots of joy but at the same I could feel the surrounding pain while walking through the slum. I realized how lucky we are to be able to sleep in our bed at home. It is an eye opening experience for me.” ,” now I know that we are not appreciative of our life when I see those kids so motivated and happy to learn even with so little material.”
Everyone had an amazing day even though the weather was chilly and very humid. Tomorrow wake up call at 6am for the soccer guys…