On May 6, the second term of 2013 began at Shalom Primary School.
The day began as all Mondays do. The crew of older boys gathered in smart formation, took a step to the right, then to the left, and then snapped off a smart salute. The flag was already raised earlier, the boys just had to unfurl it. A brisk breeze took it, and the mighty Kenyan flag flapped free while the assembled students sang the national anthem.
Check out our video of it:
Then the teachers took a moment to give their opening remarks to the assembled students. Mostly the teachers welcomed them warmly and prepared all the students for what was ahead of them: Hard work!
And hard work it was! Right off the bat, there was some heavy grass cutting and some thorough sweeping. Dust accumulates fast, and grass grows at an otherworldly rate in the tropics. Taming the wilds of the compound was the students first job.
Meanwhile, the younger classes gathered in the classrooms, waiting, teasing each other, not really doing anything, but they didn’t seem to mind.
It seemed like a good time to introduce some of these kids to a stack of storybooks donated from students far, far away. They were books that were written and illustrated by students in Canada, Europe, and Hong Kong, and now these students here in Kenya were enjoying their work. These kids here in Kenya weren’t completely understanding these stories right now, but one day they will.
They were very grateful for the books and they did their best to read and understand the books. It was tough, and my explanations of the story probably didn’t help, but hey, it was a start. And this was only the first day after all.
Outside, the grass was getting cut, the classrooms were being cleaned, and the hard work was just beginning.