Half the team began the day at Gichunge Primary where our arrival was marked with multiple verses of “If you’re happy and you know it …” sung by 200+ students at their morning assembly. That will get your blood flowing!
Speaking of blood, Jeff and Margaret Punch spent the day at BLISS Secondary performing rabbit dissections for each of the Form 4 (12th grade) science classes. Sounds grim but it is a critical part of their national exam. Having two doctors explain each step gives these students an amazing experience. Margaret was a bit disappointed that all three rabbits were male (apparently this isn’t that easy to tell from the outside) … there was no opportunity to show the female anatomy.
Meanwhile back at the primary, we witnessed the morning serving of porridge. This is a program First Methodist has supported for multiple years. Lots of happy faces and only one cup spilled in a trip-and-fall. Tears were dried and her cup refilled.
The pressure on the Eighth Graders to do well has them beginning their studies at 7:00 AM just as the sun comes up. With no electricity, the rooms are dark. Today. Greg demonstrated “desk top” solar lanterns for each of the Eight Grade desks. A welcome addition.
Although we provide porridge each day for the primary students, many of them don’t have a lunch. Their families survive on money earned as day laborers. When day labor is not found, the family goes without food. As a small token, the team provides a typical American sack lunch to each Seventh and Eighth Grader … and of course this includes not one, but TWO P & J sandwiches. We managed to draft the U of M Engineering students into helping us make the sandwiches and pack the sacks.
So. now we can answer the question of how many UM students does it take to make a P&J sandwich? It takes 6 about a bit over an hour to make 110. Not a bad way to end the day knowing you are going to make the day for a great many students.
— Kathy Macdonald