I knew it would be a long church service today so I had a big breakfast of eggs and bacon on a roll (tasted like one from Sharon’s deli) and hash browns (thanks Ore Ida). Deanville was hosting an interfaith fellowship service with three other congregations and there was plenty of music and plenty of people with something to share. They built a large shade structure and benches from bamboo-like reeds then ran a generator to power a keyboard and mic. At one point there was a power surge and two lightbulbs blew, sending some women running..
I was happy to sit next to two beautiful girls. I don’t know the younger one but she had a shy smile and danced like a maniac to the African beat. The other is a sweet girl named Norah who attends our school.
We ended around 1:30 so I made a dash for Gbarnga to enjoy another “Passion basket” of fried chicken and fries since I’m tired of cooking and cleaning every meal. I dream of vegetables though.
By the time I returned to campus, our PTA meeting was about to start at 3:00 – with Liberian time we actually started at 4:00…Believe it or not, two parents showed up at 5:10! Although this meeting was announced over Radio Gbarnga for three days, I didn’t see any new faces from outside the Deanville community. The main topic was to provide registration information for next school year. For those parents who are illiterate, this is an important means of learning what’s outlined in the enrollment Information Sheet, particularly school fees and payment schedules. There was also a rehashing of information from a previous PTA meeting where I used the Monopoly money illustration to describe actual school costs and sponsor support versus the school fees we charge. There was also discussion about the quality of the education, various benefits the students receive that other schools don’t provide (meals, water, toilets), and other impacts in the community (mosquito nets, pump repairs). One parent commented that growing up in a mother-tongue household his child didn’t speak any English until attending GLTC.
After the meeting, I took one of the saddest photos I’ve taken in a while. This is Sackie and his three children just one week after his wife died. Just knowing how sad he must feel and imagining the long road ahead in caring for this little family is difficult.