Unreliable Internet in Rwanda and a busy schedule (team members have to be quite tired in the evening) has meant that individual blog posts and photos have been somewhat slow to surface. I am grateful that we continue to have Kent’s journaling and the Kirkeide’s great photos (with captions) to make these next posts possible.
Kent had this to say about the team’s visit to the Cyintare Primary School:
…we headed to our next destination, which was a primary school. The students and teachers were on their two-week break so the World Vision people weren’t sure how many would be there, but they had notified the school. Another bumpy trip on a long, winding, mountainous gravel road. As we got closer to the school, we heard children singing. When were in sight of the school, we could see a couple hundred young children in blue school uniforms singing and dancing to a welcome song on the hillside. We stood and listened to them for several minutes, and they were not shy about singing loudly and enthusiastically. It was incredibly joyful!
At this point we were directed by the headmaster of the school to follow her and we walked up a hill to a classroom. There she took care of introductions with several members of her teaching staff in attendance. The classroom had a chalkboard with the yearly schedule on it and a couple of fluorescent lights. They were very excited about having electricity. I noticed several hornets buzzing around the ceiling and an actual hornet nest in one of the corners of the roof. They discussed some of the challenges of teaching in the primary school—specifically that they had so many students that they had two shifts of students per day, a morning shift and an afternoon shift.
We talked for about 30 minutes in that specific classroom and then we walked up the hill to a newer classroom where several kids (probably about 6th or 7th grade equivalent) were assembled. At this point, the Kirkheides were asked impromptu if they would teach a lesson to the students. Shawn started with a discussion about where we lived (Minnesota) and if they knew anything about where we were from. Students raised their hand politely and when called upon they would stand next to their desk to answer. They mentioned the Mississippi River, the fact that our country had tremendous resources, our President, and several other little factoids.
Shannon then asked the students to share about their country. It was a neat moment, with lots of hands raised and enthusiastic answers given.This went on for about 25 minutes.
After this we went out to the athletic field. As we walked down the hill, we saw several students in new uniforms. The kids told us they were bought with World Vision funds and that they just got them.
When we got to the field, Steve brought out a bag of balls we had brought for the school.
Several of us had the opportunity to trade new soccer balls for the homemade soccer balls made out of plastic bags.
We traded five or six balls, and then several of our group played volleyball with several of the kids that were assembled. The rest of the kids huddled around the court and on the hillside. When the kids scored, the crowd was very supportive with cheers. When our group scored, not so much. lol
After the game, we left the school and people lined the little gravel road and said farewell.