Tuesday, June 21, 2016

First Day of Production at Tumaini

The whole group arrived at Tumaini at 9:00 AM. After depositing our equipment, the head teacher, Mr. Paul, gave us a tour.  Children in a number of the classes either sang to us or greeted us in another way.  We saw dormitories, classrooms, and of course, the new library and computer lab. It is hard not to be impressed with all that is going on at Tumaini – and the whole group was suitably impressed!

The students conducted three interviews on Monday – with Mr. Jimmy, Madame Christine, and the teacher who is currently serving as the librarian.  In addition, Ashley picked up B-roll around the campus. There is so much to see – children in class, laundry hanging on the line, dormitories, the kitchen that puts out 3 meals a day, plus a snack, for 900 children, as well as teachers, staff, and visitors like us, the sports activities, the places outside where children wash their hands, the sewing shop where uniforms are made and mended, and so on.

Tea is served at around 10:30 AM – a sweet, black tea along with delicious rolls made in the kitchen. What a treat! Lunchtime is 1:00 PM, and we were included in the fare of rice and beans, spinach, and fruit. When we were here in 2013, the lunch consisted only of rice and beans, or another, similar, hearty dish, with no vegetables or fruit.  Since then, a nutritionist from Long Island University did a nutritional analysis and made suggestions for changes in the diet, which the school implemented.  We attribute to that change the addition of the spinach and fruit. (The same nutrition professor will be back in Karatu in another week or two, with a group of students, to do a second analysis of the diet at the school. One of her students arrived early to do more volunteer work, and she is staying at the Volunteer House with us.)

While the BECA students worked on production, I wandered into the library and offered to help.  I was able to read with a couple of children and brainstorm with a volunteer on ways to encourage children to do more reading. I can think of few things I enjoy more than reading to children, so I was in my element!

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