Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Big Scary Day

This month we accepted fifteen community children to attend the village school. They are the sons and daughters of some of our employees and they range in age from five years old to eleven years old. These ladies and gentlemen fill out the classes that we have going now with the children who live at the orphanage. These day students have been placed in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, or first grade.


In the first picture, you see some of the new students being led by a security guard to the dining hall. This was scary, coming into our compound; some of these children had never had any contact with white people. They were led to the dining hall where they were told a little about our village and the classes they will attend. Paperwork was completed.

They were given a tour of the school and the facilities were explained. Yes, it’s called “Bathroom 101”. This was really scary! What would happen if you fell into the white well while someone pushed that silver lever? Perhaps you can remember the fear invoked, starting a new session at school when you were a new student. Having to use the bathroom did not tend to make you relax in your new setting. Well, in two or three days, the scariness of the commode has been conquered; it has become all fun and games, and the excuses to go to the bathroom are quite resourceful.

The other thing that happens the first day they come to the village is that they are examined by a doctor. Ministry of Health says that all employees and children that are involved in an institution such as this one must have a physical exam and regular checkups. A U.S. doctor who was volunteering in Liberia for a couple of months agreed to come out to our village and exam the new students.

In the second picture, there are four kids waiting for their exam in our clinic. Babs came in with a camera and asked the girls if they would smile for a picture. They were not in the smiling mood, and just stared at Babs. So Babs tried to be funny, hoping to solicit smiles. Finally they looked at each other and giggled about the strange white lady. None of this is lost on the two boys in the background. They find the whole thing hilarious. I think we have some very normal kids here.

Hope you can smile at whatever is going on in your day today.