Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 22 - First day at St. Hilda's School

St. Hilda's School
We arrived at St. Hilda's school in time for their Monday morning assembly. This is where they line up with their class, all facing the school, and recite their pledge and sang their anthem. It was quite impressive and touching to listen to.

Cindy, Beverly, Ann and the principal, Mrs. Ida Bennett

None of the supplies were purchased upon arrival so Doug and Brad joined our local contractor, Bill, to the local lumber yard and hardware store. Meanwhile, the rest of us joined different classrooms and participated in their academic activities, which varied depending on the age. It was an eye-opener to see dozens of children sharing small rulers and hardly any erasers could be found. They're using pencils that are snapped in half and cutting each peice of paper into four to make sure that it gets used to it's fullest. There are eight classes (seven teachers) at the school, and 173 students. Each student is a gift from God, full of potential and joy. We can feel their excitement in their touch and see the joy in their sparkling eyes.

Photo's taken during the morning break
The men arrived just in time for some lunch and then construction got underway. For the entire afternoon we cut peices and put together, by the end of the day, eleven trusses. The heat was really bad. Fortunately we worked inside with one small fan and outside under a little shelter.

Photo's of our construction production line and our final products
Lumber arriving just before noon
Designing the table template
Cutting the first board

Toothbrushing just after lunch

Putting together the first of the trusses

Eleven trusses completed by the end of the day

A little humour goes a long way!

Miss Carol's children joined us for a bus ride home

At 4:30pm our bus driver, Jamal, arrived to take us back to the Casa Blanca. Most of us cleaned up and headed to this internet cafe to get in touch with loved ones or work on this blog. We then enjoyed dinner at a Sri Lankan restaurant and finished the night off with a nice devotional led by fellow missioner, Stanley Isherwood. We had a great conversation based on the book of Luke - Parable of the Lost Sheep.

It was a day that I am sure will change many of us for the rest of our lives. These are beautiful people embracing us with their love, gratitude and smiles.

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