Liberia: Two Suitcases, a Messenger bag and a Backpack
The first school I walked into I had three wonderful little girls with the most gorgeous smiles and energetic attitudes grab a hold of me. After that I had sidekicks for the rest of my tour of the school. They were fascinated with everything about me. They would walk around pointing things out and feeling everyone’s skin and hair. There was a pure joy and curiosity that flowed through them.
As I walked through this school my heart sank in my chest. Indescribable bathrooms. Broken chairs or not enough of them. Buildings falling apart and totally unsafe. Barely no supplies for the students or the teachers. Our worst school in the US would be the best there. But what we found were 100% committed teachers. They want to serve their students well . Some of the very things I teach were on the chalkboards in their classrooms. But they needed more help with their facilities and teaching supplies.
The opportunity to visit another school came . I didn’t know what to expect. I was joining two other teachers that day to do a training we called Teachers teaching teachers. This school was totally different. It had a great structure. A large water pump and much more. We were greeted in song and different presentations from the students in their yellow and green uniforms. I found three major similarities which were joy filled students ,100% committed teachers and a need for more supplies to improve the teaching experience.
The day had finally come. A dream of 23 years was coming to pass. I was teaching in Africa. I was equipping people to equip students. It was exactly what I had been waiting for. It was extra hot that day. We taught for almost 9hours with few breaks. But the teachers were hungry to learn. In years pass we’ve sent microscopes, building straws and much more. Which the teachers pack up everyday and take home so that it won’t be stolen. In November 2018 we sent a plethora of different items. The teachers were in awe.
At the end of the day the two schools left with at least two suitcases of supplies for their schools. Each teacher received a messenger bag full of school supplies for them and much more. One of the best moments was when we were able to give all the students brand new backpacks. There was singing and shouts of joy. That day was great for them but it was one of the best days of my life. I love education. STEM is the wave of the future and I’m glad to be a part of it.