Our grand opening of the library started on Monday, July 6th and has continued for 2 weeks! The learners were sooo... excited to say the least. It was wonderful to see how amazed they were about some of the smallest things. They loved the new rugs. I am not sure any of them had ever sat on a rug before! The idea of sitting or laying on the rug to read was really a new experience for most of them. The first week each class (14 of them) had an opportunity to spend time in the library just looking at books and seeing all the posters, maps, and banners that decorated the walls. Most of their classrooms have nothing on the walls, other than peeling paint. For grades 1-7, Rachel or I read a story outloud, before giving them time to browse the books. Of course, for the younger grades, 1-4, their teachers had to translate a lot while I was reading, but they still really seemed to enjoy it. Every learner received a new pencil and a "sweet" when they left.
This week, we had grades 5-11 come in again, this time to check out a book for the first time; something some of them had never done before. The shelves were quite full at the beginning of the week, but now, almost 300 books have been borrowed by the learners. We will have to continue to work on increasing the library collection. Grades 1-4 will not be allowed to borrow books until a later date, but each of the primary teachers will be assigned a library period once a week to bring in their classes after I am gone. The first book that I read to the young ones was Baby Beluga, and they even enjoyed my version of the song. It was an easy crowd.
I only have 6 more days here in Ogongo, then I am on my way back home. I am anxious to see everyone and share my experience with lots of pictures. See you soon!