On Wednesday Sue, who is in Nairobi with Nico this week, mailed me and asked if I'd accompany Sharda to the school clubs that afternoon. Grant left his Toyota for me, and after lunch I collected Sharda from her house (two doors down the lane from mine) and off we went. The school is set within the Kimwarer Village in the most idyllic of settings. The trees and beautiful gardens are tended by one adult and after school, the older boys spend fifteen minutes helping him to rake up leaves. The older girls clean the classrooms, readying the ones used by the clubs and others for school the next day.
While waiting for the clubs to commence, Caroline, the Head teacher (we'd call her Headmistress in South Africa) took us on a tour of the school. We met all the learners from the youngest who greeted me enthusiastically to the oldest, most of whom know Sharda well as she's been involved with the school for years.
Later Caroline showed us the dormitories for the learners who go onto high school in the cities next year. They are boarders even though several have homes just meters away from the school boundaries. When I asked Caroline if they go home on weekends, she said no, only half term and end of term. To my next question of : "So the parents can visit them every weekend?" she replied: "No, only once a month!" This arrangement works very well. Because the children are schooled, housed and fed on the grounds, they're able to concentrate on their studies instead of being involved in herding the goats or caring for younger children after school.
Two of the boarders in their dormitory
Caroline in the senior girls' dorm. Each dorm has an ablution block - see door to right rear of photos
There are four clubs which meet on Wednesdays after school: the Wildlife Club, the Science Club, the Art Club and the Journalism Club. Because so many of the older children are involved in these clubs, yet are ardent Scouts, this club is held on a Friday afternoon.
The Journalism club met under the trees in the school grounds. Isn't this an idyllic setting for inspiriation ?
Sharda and I began by sitting in on the Journalism club. Once the teacher had given the children a topic to work on, we left and visited the other clubs. The Art club children were busy sketching a still life. The Science club was working on an electromagnetic procject. The Wildlife club members were watching a DVD about the wild dogs of Tanzania. After spending an enjoyable time with each club, Sharda and I took our leave promising to return next week with projects of our own which we will share with them. As it was my first visit, I only took a few photos. In future I'll be able to take more and report back in detail about the clubs.