Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Book Bus in South Luangwa

The Book Bus has hit the ground running for the beginning of term in South Luangwa! We started out with six dedicated volunteers and were joined by two more in our second week at school. Our wonderful volunteers range in age from their 20s to their 60s and brought some brilliant crafts and stories to share with the children!

We have been visiting five schools in the South Luangwa Valley: Uyoba Community School, Victory Community Pre-School, Kakumbi Basic School, Chiwawatala Basic School and Malimba Basic School. All of the teachers have been very welcoming and are sure to greet each volunteer personally as we arrive!

The kids are so eager to learn and have become increasingly excited for our return visits with crowds of children gathering outside the schools, jumping up and down, waving and smiling as we approach. At Victory Community Pre-School the children even prepared a few songs for us when we arrived, and then put us on the spot to perform for them as well!

We've gone on lion hunts, taught giraffes to dance, made sparkly crowns, ferocious lion masks, hungry hippos, story books, animal fact sheets, and flags from all over the world just to name a few of the activities the volunteers have designed with the kids. The older kids even conquered quizzes over fun facts from our donated books from Miles Kelly including 'Why Are Sharks Scary?' 'Why Do Snakes Slither?' and 'Why
Does the Earth Spin?'

The headteacher at Chiwawatala gave us a tour of their campus last Friday, and they have a community garden supported by Conservation Science Africa, a kitchen supported by Mfuwe Lodge and a library filled with 1,300 books that is open to students and the community. It is heartwarming to see families and the community rallying behind educational programs at their schools. We also learned the parents of students at Uyoba Community School came together and built an additional classroom for the children and we have even received some craft supplies from Marula Lodge!

 We've also had some gadget fun with educational iPad and iPhone apps, Etch-a-Sketches- which even the teachers got to enjoy, and, the ultimate crowd-pleaser one of our volunteers brought... a bubble gun!

 It truly has been an amazing cultural sharing experience with the children, teachers and volunteers all learning from each other. We have all gained insight into new worlds but have made memories together that we will never forget. Thank you to all of our volunteers for your hard work and dedication, The Book Bus would not be possible without you, and Happy Volunteer Week!

Sarah- June 2013