After enormous anticipation and a little bit of trepidation, we have finally started our project…Ntenyo 2011. The first thing we noticed on approach was the beauty of the school setting…a hilltop, overlooking rolling valleys..it was breathtaking and slightly Australian with its scattering of gum trees.
As we drove into the school, our minivan full of eager volunteers was swarmed by the most beautiful group of wide eyed children we had ever seen. They appeared overjoyed to see us and it is impossible to describe the emotion that hit us.
The school day at Ntenyo started around 7am with Assembly. We will never forget the feeling we had as more than 300 children sang to us, “We are very happy!”. Their voices were angelic, their smiles infectious and their welcome so warm and gracious.
Our working day started on the construction site, where we are helping to build three classrooms. The builders and helpers spoke little English but by working together carrying bricks via a human chain, we managed to pick up a few words in Kinyarwandan and hopefully helped them understand a bit of English along the way.
We were promptly renamed Mama Amy and Mama Charlie ….our Rwandan names that will stay with us forever.
It is impossible to document life at the Ntenyo school…the experiences just kept coming…from building site to the classroom…..and this is only DAY 2!!!!
We have totally fallen in love with P6 and their teacher Francine. We are in awe of their enthusiasm and will to learn.
It is unfathomable to understand the hardships they face on a daily basis and I know we will never truly understand. We just hope we can make a difference.
Emma Mc Lean and Brigitte Duclos