The task in my mind start to ponder as I am getting off the bus today. What can I do to truly make a difference at the school today? The kids smiling and greeting us as we exited can only put bigger smiles on our face! The true joy of happiness fills my heart instantly! I sat next to Kenry as I have done since the first day I came. The day begins as every day with a few prayers and songs. Trudy, Denice and myself helped end the morning circle time with a few common American Christmas songs, Santa Claus is coming to town, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and “Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer”!
Along to the classes the children go. First Trudy’s class then Rising Fives, followed by tweenie two’s. The rising Fives went right for juice break.
I was asked to work on the stove. The stove has my mind racing. After taking off each burner plate, I used a pipe cleaner to clean the burners. I found that only two of the four burners will work. My thoughts are that I want to get back home and start a fundraiser to help fund a new one. It is not repairable efficiently. The burners can be replaced but it appears to be beyond just that.
I was eager to see the Earth Boxes. Today was my last chance to see this project in person. Emily came to report that they’ll soon stop working on the boxes this week. I accompanied Denice, who had asked permission to take one of the small children “Ayla”, and Darren to the church. I was there and introduced to Ms. Reed and Mr. Jonah, and Jacob. I was pleased to see that a mother had shown up and Monica was assisting her on the new box. It was not long before Wendy soon had another mother show up as well. Much to be surprised, Bernard the 13 year old son to the mother working with Wendy, took ownership and couldn’t wait to get his hands dirty! It was revitalizing to see the program in person and the town pitching in! It was soon to be lunch time. We all headed back to school.
The Rising Fives were at outside play time. Two children, Barack and Asia were inside the class room so we sat and worked on white boards where we practiced 1-10 numbering. Progress was indeed in the doing. Asia had serious numbering problems, she really just didn’t know them and Barack was not independent on his skills. We made progress and the children were excited with the individual time. That in itself was rewarding to me.
It was lunch time now. Pizza was brought in as a special treat for the children thanks to a generous donation from Trudy. They were so excited and ate it down. Naptime followed immediately. Lunchtime as it has been all week next door with Darren, Sandy and Unice was enjoyable and great conversation. We then went for a short walk to the elementary school to enjoy a walk with Unice so she could see the students.
We made it back to the school. The children still as quiet as a mouse. Soon after that school was coming to an end. The children woke up, and the same two children, Asia and Barack asked to revisit the number writing on the white boards. We did this and both the children could write their numbers 1-10.
Asia came and said thank you followed by a hug! It was such a rewarding feeling. We soon joined the other kids in the toy room and the day came to an end.
It come to my conclusion that with small repairs that I have made during the week, being able to teach Nevian how to spell his name by the end of the day, when he couldn’t even write a letter, and now helping yet another two students writing there numbers when one of them couldn’t make out any numbers, and now able to write them on their own. I know in leaving that I have made a difference.
-Larry, St. Lucia Global Volunteer