Saturday, December 6, 2014


It's the end of the school year here and so this past week has been filled with end of the year celebrations.  Last week I attended a birthday party/going away party for one of the teachers.  Everyone will miss Aunt Sylvia's warm smile and infectious laugh.  One of the boys in our family group is in her class and so he and his friends came to my house to bake cakes for the party.  We used a few more eggs than we intended but the squeals of delight as they cracked them were worth it.  Parties here invariably involve a 'program' involving speeches of welcome for honoured guests and expressions of appreciation for those who helped make the event happen.  This birthday party was no exception as child after child spoke words of appreciation for the guests and their teacher.  Food is never served until the formalities are complete and then is consumed with great delight.

On Friday we attended the banquet for the S4 students.  This is the final year that our secondary school offers and these students have sat national exams to determine whether they can continue to finish secondary school.  It was especially nice to see our sponsor child's older brother and cousin receive their certificates and celebrate with their mother and grandmother.

I also attended the formal end of year party for the primary school.  Each class recited, acted or sang for their family members and the staff.  Again there were many speeches of appreciation for a year of hard work.  As I glanced around the audience I was most struck by the faces of the 'parents' of these children.  The majority are grandmothers, often widows, who have been left with children to raise.  My mind drifted away imagining what life must be like for these women.  The endless toil just to survive is beyond my understanding.  I was thankful that for a few hours they could sit, be entertained and fed.  The formality of this event seemed somehow fitting for the quiet dignity of these women.

1 comment:

  1. Aunt Sylvia does indeed have a lovely smile! And there's a lot of affection for her too in the faces of the children. and thanks for the word picture of the older women who are caring for grandchildren and other extended family.