Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things our eyes have seen (Manzini Primary School)

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9

A sea of welcoming faces---------------------students ready to help us plant
cheer/pom squad member -----Justin planting with Swazi boy-------Sue with Jane (agriculture teacher)

reaching deeply for water----------------------------------precious student
Surrounded by jungle gym boys ------------------Thankful waves goodbye
One of our first days in Swaziland was spent at the Manzini Primary School. We had the privilege to meet and work alongside the young students planting immune boosting vegetable gardens as well as painting the building which will become a future library for them (their first!). I cannot tell you how precious it was when we first arrived to have been welcomed in song and dance by the entire student body (about 200 children!). Their enthusiasm truly touched my heart. After the singing a drama group from the school performed a play in siSwati (their native language) about 'children having a voice'.....a play about abuse and who they should turn to for help. They did a nice job but it broke my heart to realize that such young children needed to be taught this because many are subjected to situations of abuse. Sad. After the play we all got busy planting & painting. The gardens (26 of them) would be tended by the 5th grade students (part of their agriculture class) with the food being used to supply not only the entire school's lunch program but also to help feed the student's families as well. Way cool! Once the work was done the 'pom squad' wanted to show us their routine that they'd been practicing. It was fun to be able to encourage them as they proudly performed for us. While watching I was reminded that "no matter where you are, children are children". Let us never forget that!

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