The final weeks of holidays in Livingstone saw many activities on the Bookbus. We spent 3 days at Sinde parked up in the centre of the village, with more and more children coming each day to read, play games, make art and learn new things. The older children spent a day learning about volcanoes and then did a science experiment making their very own exploding volcano; Which had to be re-enacted at the end of the day for all their younger siblings.
We also spent 3 days at a new village, Delevu, about 1 hours drive from Livingstone. Many of the children here don’t have any formal education as the nearest government schools are too far away. There is a small community school, run out of a small church and when we arrived the first time the children piled out of the church to see what was going on. They were quite shy the first day but they soon got into the stories and the activities. The loved playing with our homemade parachute, they all have a look inside the Bookbus and joined in with all our favourite songs.
And each day we arrived the line of children running behind the bus got longer! On the final day we gave each child their own book to take away and they were thrilled, waiting in a very orderly line for their turn to get their name written in their book.
It is also a great pleasure to see them engrossed in their books, even if they aren’t able to read. You can see there is a real sense of pride in owning their very own book, something that without the Bookbus is almost unobtainable in these rural villages.
On the way to these rural schools we are often lucky enough to spot elephants, giraffes, impalas or zebras. This week we saw a whole family of sable antelope, which is very rare. It was just a taster for our weekend safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana. We all spent the weekend being amazed at the sheer number of animals, there were literally thousands of zebras and impalas and hundreds of giraffes and elephants. We also saw lions and in the evening a leopard, which was pretty close to our overnight bush camp.
Two days each week we went and spent time at Lushomo Home, in Livingstone, a refuge for young girls that have been sexually abused. It was a big contrast to the big groups of noisy children in the villages but it was a fantastic experience getting to know these girls. They love to read and do crafts and it was obvious they rarely have the opportunity to do these things. They grew more and more confident each day, their shy smiles turning into genuine laughter and huge grins. We also left them with their own books, which I know they will treasure, share and keep on rereading.
Kelly September 2013