School Visit: Part II
In my last post, I shared a few sentiments regarding a visit I made to Escola Primaria de Mafacitela in late June. It was such a pleasure to speak at length with the headmaster, Gervásio Inácio Bambo, as we created a list of projects to raise money for over the next few years. Admittedly, there is so much work to do that it seemed quite difficult to prioritize projects with concern to cost, importance, and logistics. This discussion went on for some time, especially since every statement had to be followed by a translation from Jimmy, our able assistant. Even this arrangement came about by a stroke of luck.
For starters, apart from a few Portuguese phrases and a few greetings in a handful of African languages, I am only fluent in English. Jimmy, on the other hand, is Zimbabwean. That means that he can speak several African languages, but not Portuguese, the main language spoken in Mozambique. Finally, Gervásio’s mother tongue is Portuguese. But by a stroke of luck, he is fluent in Shangaan, which is Jimmy’s native tongue from Zimbabwe, where it has spilled out over the border into certain rural areas of Mozambique. Shangaan was our winner!
With that taken care of, we were able to hash out a list of future projects, as follows:
1) A new well. $12,000The original well that was built by the government some years ago (pictured) is in good working order, but there is some bad news. For about 8 months of the year, excluding the summer wet season, the well only draws salt water, as the water table isn't high enough to yield fresh rain water. This creates unnecessary hard work for teachers that should be concentrating on one thing: teaching!
2) Plaster and paint newly-roofed school house. $500As many of you already know, we completed our first major project by re-roofing the original brick and mortar school house. It was then unfortunate that an official from Mozambique’s Ministry of Education paid a visit to the school, only to say that the school house cannot be used until it is plastered and painted. Considering the previous condition of the building, we were hoping the classrooms could be put to use in the meantime as we finished the building. Undeterred, and with the help of Búfalo Moçambique, we are happy to say that this project is already underway. Photos to come shortly!
3) Make repairs to teachers’ building. $500About 50 yards from the original schoolhouse is the teachers’ building (pictured), shared by all three staff members of the school. This is not simply a building where they prepare lesson plans and grade papers, it is where they live as well. This is not in its own right a bad thing. In fact, they all stated that they are perfectly happy with their living arrangement. The problem is that the building itself could use a bit of work. There are sizable cracks in the exterior walls and the roof leaks during heavy rains.
4) School supplies. $1,000Thanks so much to everybody who has purchased a t-shirt that contributes money to the‘Toucharitee’campaign, which aims to provide $1,000 worth of school supplies to the school. We are more than halfway to our goal. If you haven’t got your own yet, now is the time!
Stay well everybody, and please email me with questions you may have about our projects.
Todd Amacker Director, MozCause