It has finally arrived…hard to believe it’s the first day of school!
Children and parents began arriving around 7:30 this morning. Eventually a core group assembled and Sumo began his welcome and opening announcements. I didn’t get a final headcount but there were about 50 students on the list and the number keeps rising as more registrations trickle in. Sumo expects this to happen throughout the week. The new students were introduced to some of the staff, discussed general rules and behavior, and explored the bathrooms with some using it for the first time. Uniforms are being made by a tailor in Gbarnga but as of yet, not all students have been measured. We’ve also had a bit of a scheduling issue with the carpenter making the school furniture – they’re not done! I visited them today and it still looks like a lot of work left to do so I helped them prioritize which furnishings need to be completed first. We’ll get there eventually.
Paperwork was processed in the office, mostly by Sumo’s fiance Amuchain, including a registration form, photo, and immunization records (which so far most students have). Meanwhile, the children were led in a name-learning game which entailed stating your own name then tossing a soccer ball to another student who in turn did likewise. As with any first day, there are small children who haven’t left their parents much so one little boy in particular was a “cryer” missing his father (who happens to be our head of security, James Woi). It was fantastic to finally hear the sounds of kids laughing (and crying) in the schoolyard. The heat quickly worked up a sweat so the children eventually took a rest on some benches in the shade. This led to my next supplies purchase: cups for drinking water.
Please follow this link to hear our children learning what this school is called: https://youtu.be/EWv8ibyCFKE