A little rain in the morning didn’t dampen our spirits any, and it cleared up before we arrived at Babator. Our morning commute started with a lovely ‘pick-me-up’— literally and figuratively! We picked up some ladies in Bamboi. Most were able to squeeze into the back of the cargo truck that also contained many of our team members, suitcases of school supplies, tools, and the ingredients for an afternoon village feast for approximately 1000 people (a 650lb-ish live cow and the giant cooking pots that would soon contain him). Three of the ladies came onto our bus. Language barriers limited conversation with them, so they began to sing for us and being that many songs were in English, we tried our best to join in with them. They were the perfect diversion as many of the teachers were in their classrooms for the last time, feeling happy-sad: happy to bring our students through the Fun Day activities that Heather led us in organizing and excited to present gifts to all the children, but sad as we faced the fact that this was our last day in their classrooms, and after tomorrow, most of us may not ever see them again.
Despite a crazy Fun Day with gifts to give and receive, tears flowed from both the Ghanaian and Canadian teachers and many students as well. Those tears were pushed aside for a while once the drums started beating, the feast was served, and the dancing started. Heartfelt thanks was expressed beautifully by the chief, including an African proverb, “Although the oceans are vast, they still accept every single drop of rain,” describing the fact that although they know we Canadians have much and their gifts and attempts to express thanks may seem quite small, they still offer them to us in hopes that we accept them. The teachers themselves brought forward a gift of yams, which we humbly accepted, honoured to receive them knowing that that of the four, only two of them are paid and the other two are ‘putting in their time’ as they complete their teacher training.
The construction team was not able to paint the exterior of the church due to the threat of rain, so thankfully some of them helped us run the Fun Day activities, while others watched the butchering and food preparation process. The foundation work at the latrine was continued, renovations continued at the school, and more finishing details were done at the church.
Back in Carpenter and Teselima, the excavation team continued to work and now the have all the equipment up and running beautifully, ready for another day.
Thank you for offering to donate some snow to fill the fish pond! We know Teselima would love it. Today there was a little water in one corner of the pond due to the early morning rain, and the young villagers were seen playing in it.
Some token gifts we brought are packaged and ready for our team party tomorrow evening here in Carpenter after a short work day. It was requested that we begin the party earlier than usual so that everything is wrapped up in time to watch the Africa Cup final game together. (Go Ghana!)
Today truly was a day not one of us will ever forget. Thank you for all your support that enabled us to experience it!