As I sit on the verandah with the breeze blowing through my sweat dampened hair, I look out across the assembly square, past the flagpole, and the sunflowers wilting in the hot 4pm sun, to the cluster of girls seated in the shade of the big tree at their favourite study spot.Their commitment to study hard and to achieve well has been evident all week and for all of the weeks I have been here so far. Form 1 exams began Monday and end next Monday with two exams completed each day.
Having had dinner with the Dolans, Saturday evening and been swimming Sunday arvo with Polly and Martha, I was feeling very relaxed. To give the girls some support I went out to SEGA where I firstly I relaxed with them weaving makeke, ate Paella for dinner then guided them through some intense revision of Civics, one of the subjects I have been teaching.
I know Dad is here with me in this harsh, challenging environment. He would have loved the challenge of succeeding and the simplicity of how things get done! Monday was Dad’s 3rd Anniversary and I was grateful to wake up on this day, surrounded by these girls who are so generous in giving their love and affection. Nina kupenda Baba. I love you Dad.
All the girls had wanted me to sleep in their bed. It was Subira’s bed I slept in and as I drifted off to sleep around 10:30pm, wrapped in my kanga with the blue mosquito net tucked securely around me, I could hear the girls helping each other study. Much later I woke briefly, and could see the little solar lamp on the top bunk, working hard to assist the anxious, late night student...getting the job done!
SEGA aims to be self sufficient. The school’s energy is totally sourced by solar power. The large panels shining brightly on the rooftop absorb the energy needed to be converted to power. In addition, each girl has her own small, solar powered light which I often see re-energising on the verandah during the day.
SEGA has recently obtained 5 computers sourced by solar power – No danger of damage from power surges here! The girls have been learning the basics of computers, mainly sourcing games in their leisure time. Next year, with additional computers in the newly built lab, we will be able to nurture their ICT skills and hopefully, eventually communicate using the internet!
Having spent a lot of time and energy establishing a viable vegetable garden, and nearly being beaten by the fickle weather, SEGA is determined to continue to produce. Unfortunately, the underground water supply was salty so additional water is trucked in for drinking and sustaining the edible produce. These challenges are so familiar to me having been raised on a farm and dependent on weather and natural resources.