They told us we were going to visit a school today. We stepped out into the pleasant temperatures of a sunny Ugandan day with a slight breeze blowing. We didn’t know what would await us but we were pretty sure there might be some singing, dancing and a few smiling faces. We loaded into into the bus and bounced our way down some unpaved roads. We came to a stop and the dust cleared. As we stepped out of the bus and onto the hard red Ugandan clay there they were.
The familiar blue brightly painted buildings with the open air concept and lots of curious eyes peering out at us. Some barely able to reach the window with bodies pressing against each other to get a glimpse of these strange looking funny talking visitors. If you squinted your eyes and glanced really fast at the windows it might have appeared as if there were barb wire over the windows. A fleeting photo in a history book seen many years ago came dredged out of the memory banks and the word prison camp flashed through my thoughts. But no these faces were happy. There was giggling and pointing fingers. This was a happier place.
Say what ….a happier place….this is a SCHOOL! Didn’t we all wish for the day when we would be done with school…when we wouldn’t have to study for tests!
Yes here in Uganda and other countries the difference between being in school and out may be a matter of life and death. A matter of eating or not eating. A matter of staying with your family or being sold into the sex slave trade. This was a happy place.
Schools with a class size of seventy plus
Schools where flash cards are painted on the outside of their classrooms and they know about Yams and Zigzag. I wonder how they use zigzag in a sentence. When I think of zigzag of I think of snow and there is none of that here.
Schools where the teachers stay up all night grading the one workbook a student has. And they get to sit outside and take off their shoes since it is going to take a little while.
Now you might think these schools are different from those in the United States but they do have something in common. That one student who was daydreaming of a better place and had to race to get in line before the bell rings…..or those strange people with the funny looking skin show up to tour the school. Couldn't you just scoop this little guy up! Not to worry his teacher didn't see him she was busy grading those books.
These children celebrate being in school in this corner of Uganda. It is the hope they need to become who they were created to be. So here's to a new school year for 2012 and let's take a minute and be part of the celebration. Click here and read about another Compassion child that is doing below average, average or above average ..but in school. Think a positive thought or pray for that child. Just takes a minute. If you have children at home have them join in. If you don't do it anyway. Really it takes just a minute. If you want to read more or click to the next child that is up to you. But today we celebrate because they are in school. We celebrate because maybe, just maybe 3108 more children will be in school at the end of September. Leave a comment and let me know who you clicked to and how they were doing in school!