Friday, 17 December 2010

Book Bus Journal - Zambia 18/07/10

Botswana Road Trip & the Bus is back!!

The bus is back in service! We have had the bus raised and now it can pass some of the Zambian potholed roads and reach the schools we are visiting this year! We have been using it again the past 2 weeks and the kids are pleased to see it! 

Life at schools is very settled and we met the mayor at Nakatindi on Tuesday who was very impressed with our work! We have been lucky to receive a new shipment of books from the UK. This was very exciting! There are mostly non fiction books but these have proved a real hit in the last week, because as well as reading the children are also learning new facts, from how sunflowers grow from seeds and caterpillars turn into butterflies to how children around the world live in different kinds or homes and have different types of hair!!

At Maanu Mbwami the desks and teachers tables/chairs that were funded by 2 of our Bookbus volunteers have started to arrive from the local carpenter that is making them! The children, teachers and parents are so grateful. The Bookbus has become a huge success story at this school. After only 8 weeks, I can see the difference in the confidence, individuality and imagination of the kids. The teachers have also said that there is a marked improvement! At this school we are teaching from grades 2 to 7 so we have a broad spectrum of ages and abilities. This proved to be very trying in the first few weeks but the response we have gotten has proven that sometimes the most difficult challenges provide the most rewarding results! 

I have also been talking to the teachers and community members about the best ways they can help themselves and we have come up with some interesting ideas for future projects! This school is going to be one place we visit during the school holidays. The first week we will be running holiday workshops and I imagine attendance will be very high! My job over the next week is to finalise the other projects we will be running during the school holidays, which are fast approaching!

The truck has now departed for Meheba but not before a quick trip across the border to Botswana to stamp its vehicle passport and to fill up with cheaper Botswana Diesel. On a 400 litre tank it makes the journey worthwhile!

We had time to make a quick visit to Chobe National Park, arriving at our accommodation about 5 minutes before our afternoon boat safari was due to leave, so perfect timing!! The wildlife we saw was amazing; especially the elephants emerging from the river, and the sunset was stunning! The sunrise safari at 5.30 was one word…freezing!! 6 layers of clothes and still we turned into icicles and unfortunately the lions we were hoping to see didn’t materialise! We then had to make the return trip and arrived in Livingstone without any hiccups and in time for watching the Worldcup final!! We went to watch in the theatre and the atmosphere was electric! About 3 quarters were for Spain and the rest for Netherlands although I doubt anyone in the building had visited either! I can say from first hand experience that Vuvuzelas are VERY loud!! Unfortunately we were rooting for Holland but nevertheless it was a cool experience!

Kelly Geoghegan