a beautiful day

Since I got back from Uganda, my team and I have been working together to fundraise money to send back to Busolwe, Uganda, to continue the kindergarten project that we started there. Today, the school is a registered primary school, and offers five different grades including our original Kindergarten. It is called Mango Grove School. The advantage that our school offers for our students is that it is attached to the community library, which means that teachers have more resources to teach the students, encouraging them to be creative and love reading. We have raised over $3,000 with Cedar Grove Elementary School since last year, and today we did our second presentation at Irwin Park Elementary School.

Our presentation is 30 minutes long and includes pictures and video clips of a few of the things we did in Busolwe for the Kindergarten project. Our presentation script tells the stories of the children who live in Busolwe. We want to share the story of the students in Busolwe with students here, to give them a peek into the lives of children halfway around the world. The purpose of sharing their stories is not just to fundraise money to support the school in Busolwe. We also hope to inspire some students to be thankful for what they have and perhaps one day also go abroad to interact with other cultures.

All the students were so attentive during our presentation– they really enjoyed hearing about daily life and school of the people we knew in Busolwe. We showed them the pictures of the classroom before we painted and renovated it, right before the picture of our completed classroom, and their response was so heartwarming… they started to applaud. We then showed an even more recent picture of the classes set up there now, and it made me so happy to hear them “oooh” and “ahhh” at the progress that Mango Grove School has made. All in all, I think that knowing that they have a story of Africa that is different from the story of poverty and disease that many charities depict is fulfilling enough for me.

Today was a beautiful day. The weather was the perfect backdrop to the many acts of kindness and wonderful interactions I shared with friends and strangers all day long. Vancouver can be such a wonderful place to live in. On my way home, a girl about my age was crying at the bus stop and was afraid to approach my bus driver for directions. She was clearly lost, physically and emotionally. My driver encouraged her to calm down, then promised that he would help her get to where she needed to go, right after giving her a free ticket transfer. I think if it weren’t for this kind driver, she would have been wandering around lost, all night. She was just waiting for someone to reach out their hand to her. Apparently it was her first time taking the bus, ever, so clearly she needed to get away from somewhere quick. I hope that her night turns out okay. At least she knows that a stranger cares enough to listen to her and promise to get her help if she needed it.

It’s been a long week. I haven’t seen my close friends in so long. There are so many overdue coffees and lunches, it’ll be such a relief when I finish my exams. At least then I won’t need to worry about them on top of teaching and trying to accumulate enough work hours.

Trees, mountains, water.

This morning I woke up to a gold full moon, lying low on the horizon. Took the ferry across from Langdale to Horseshoe bay, and the got onto the bus as the sun rose. So peaceful. Last evening we hiked up Soames Hill and watched the sun set. On our right was a brilliant golden sun dipping behind the trees and mountains; on our left was a pale, almost translucent moon coming up. The forest trail down felt so safe. Comfortable. Familiar, though it was my first visit.

I’m going to miss the daily routine of the teacher’s life, which I got to experience the past few days. It felt so right. Stef and I went with her mom to work every day, and I got the opportunity to drop in on several different grades in the school. I felt exhausted at the end of each day, but wonderfully so. I know I definitely will love working in the field of education, with others who share my passion. I guess it’s something I’m really looking forward to, anyway. Two days ago we got to attend a teacher’s workshop, and there we had many insightful conversations with experienced teachers all over the coast. Right now, I get to look forward to my B.Ed program. Stef and I were talking about our (near?) future when we can attend teacher’s workshops together. It’s so meaningful to share our passion, especially since we were with each other in Uganda.

I love living in BC. Growing up in the city, I never got to experience the comforts of “BC Living”: surrounded by trees, mountainscapes, ocean bodies. I guess I get glimpses of the North Shore from various beaches and points in the city. It’s totally different being away from the city. I love it.

It was still really comforting to bus into downtown this morning– I am a city girl at heart. Pulling into UBC made me feel proud; I love this community of students, I feel at home here.

homesickness

 

June 20, 2011- 3:45pm
the afternoon rain (Uganda)

The sky darkens, and a cool breeze refreshes the sweaty afternoon. The clouds roll in casually, not intrusively this afternoon, and begin to sprinkle the dusty ground with cold droplets of water. The light drizzling wafts a clean smell into the library, and I am no longer drowsy with sleep. It smells like home, like a light rainy day in Vancouver.

September 19, 2011
Two days ago I walked out into a drizzling Saturday morning. It reminded me of something familiar, and it wasn’t just the familiarity of Vancouver. I guess it reminded me of the moments I remembered home, when I was away from┬áhome. How beautiful. Who knew I would miss Busolwe the same way I missed Vancouver? And now, they are both part of who I am.