Friday 7 August, is leaving day. We get up at six, but have been awake since about four due the early morning activities of our neighbour, DJ Makala(School Head). This is nothing new to us of course, it’s been the status quo for two weeks. Late night disco sessions and early morning conversations at maximum decibels rivaling the volume of the radio. We get ready in a rush and heartfelt hugs to Doglas and Manon with promises to visit and keep in touch. Mama Pinky holds us tight and expresses her need for us to stay longer, but we have to leave
The previous evening was spent around the campfire till late. It’s the school ritual for all people arriving and leaving. A huge campfire with a program of prayer, singing and speeches of welcoming or farewell, as in our case. Then a sad trudge back to our digs after we greet everyone we won’t be seeing before our departure.
The morning is brisk and welcoming as we walk to catch our lift to town and we contemplate our time spent at Malaikha.
The last two weeks I’ve had to put up with lizards in my backpack, frogs in my drink water, ducks in my bath water, chickens in my bed and dogs and cats in my plate…
Needless to say, Malaikha has been an adventure to be reckoned with. The lack of running water, working toilet facilities and electricity is a real walk in the park. Most of all it’s an eye opener to observe the ladies cooking on an open fire, eyes streaming from the smoke coming off the still damp wood.
Why damp? Because the logs can’t be split to dry out, as there’s no axe on the premises! Pause for effect…😳
With all this a mention must be made of the staff Clara, Joseph, Harriet, mr & mrs Makala and especially Madame Pink-Rose who loaned us her bucket to wash in.😄. You all make a big difference in the daily lives of the children and my prayer is that you’ll find all the help you need to turn the school into the oasis you want it to be.
We managed to run a 4 day Business Skills Workshop for local blind entrepreneurs, with a wide array of lessons delivered by Manon, Doglas, Sharki3 and Fin. Very challenging but so rewarding and listening how much they grasped in such a short space of time was very inspiring.
The owner/founder/director Barbara was shining in her absence. Came out to meet us one evening in the dark in a place with no light, figure that! I couldn’t pick the woman out of a line up if someone paid me. Clearly we were disappointed in her lack of involvement during our stay, but maybe we came at a bad time and it certainly can’t detract from the good that is being done at Malaikha.
Anyway, the stuff we’ve experienced you can’t order off a catalogue and it will forever be indelibly marked in our memories until Altsheimers come to claim it.