Mae's decision to return to her home country, The Philippines in April, necessitated a trip to Dar to work with Douglas (VSO Education Program Manager) and book her flight etc. Her trip was perfectly timed as it coincided with Matron's trip to Arusha. Her usual stopover in Morogoro doubled as a farewell sleepover @ SEGA.
Friday, we enjoyed one last pizza night @ Dragonaires with Polly's family and Shalin, then Saturday we tagged with Grace who had done Matron's supervision on Friday night. Having met Mae last November at my birthday sleepover, the SEGA girls excitedly welcomed her and showered her with love and attention until Polly relieved us on Sunday from being The Matrons.
Rose and Jesca tried desperately to tame our long, slippery hair into braids which filled in the quiet hours during the hottest part of the afternoon. It was a lazy, peaceful time filled with chatting and sharing of stories between many of the girls and us.
When the heat finally subsided, the bell was rung and the girls doned their new, pink netball skirts (thanks Stephen for organising these!) and spent the next 2 hours embattled in competition. We have some very athletic, agile girls whose skills are very impressive.
There was so much laughter and good, healthy physical activity. We all loved it so much that the girls only stopped playing when they could no longer see the ball and our backdrop became a stunning, colorful sunset! My camera was given out so, inevitably the girls captured 100's of photos of each other...(oh...and there were some of the sunset too!! That was what I had asked them to capture!)
In preparation for the movie night Martha expertly produced a huge bucketful of popcorn. She literally slaved over the hot fire, routinely shaking the massive pot as it resounded with the consistent sounds of the corn as it popped. Martha is a great cook and wont stop until she has completed something to her satisfaction! We could not get her to come and eat dinner until she had completed cooking ALL the corn! Great work Martha....we really appreciated your commitment and skills.
Meanwhile, Form 1's had dragged the spare mattresses out out of the storage and prepared Form 2's classroom for the movies. Unfortunately our movie selection was a bit limited (Astro Boy it was!!) but our Bongo Flava music was perfect for the pre-movie disco. Form 1's eagerly responded to the rhythm in uninhibited dance and perfectly tuned voices. It was a pity to have to end the music. I think next time we will have a Song & Dance night but, time was moving on, so the movie began.
Conscious of impending exams, many Form 2's chose to study and took their popcorn with them, hoping that it would be good brain food! The distance between theForm 2 classroom and the Form 2 dormitory is far and dark so I made many trips back and forth returning the girls to do their study. My little LED torch was valued!
Mae slept with the Form 1's in their new dormitory and I was given Subira's bed in the Form 2's room. Matron's bedroom was spare but the girls prefer we share the dormitory with them. I woke through the night around 2 am, to discover a solar lamp assisting one of the girls in her attempt to cram every waking minute with studying. I suggested that she get some sleep.
"No Madam, I have already done that!!"
Their desperation to pass their impending second chance to be educated!
We shared a delicious Sunday breakfast of Uji, Chapatti and boiled egg. The process of making nearly 60 chapattis was time consuming. However, the whole process was made look simple as the girls willingly and proudly demonstrated their expert skills.