Yesterday morning, multiple long-term projects came to fruition as RNC hygiene team member Alex implemented a part of his thesis to a very responsive and enthusiastic group of 6th graders. With the help RNC language team member Coleen, we all worked closely with Tsibiri’s best-of-the-best to create miniature wooden bridges with the vision of conveying basic engineering principles and opening the door to the endless opportunities that lie in the world of engineering for these students and the community.
The unparalleled success of the morning coupled with the driving momentum born of new student sponsors in the US, RNC recreation team member Alex braved the realm of Nigerien youth soccer, attempting to relive his glory days. Unbeknownst to him, a dust storm was brewing on the soccer field and after 12 intense minutes of hard action, Alex took to the bench, claiming difficulty breathing. The RNC audience team is pretty sure he was just put to shame by the sheer skill of the school boys.
This morning, the RNC medical team took a brief tour of the world-renowned Fistula Hospital in Danja, near Maradi. As fate would have it, we met an employee whose twin sons attend the school at Tsibiri. Isti, “le directeur” of Tsibiri later shared that after being told that there was no room for her sons at Tsibiri, she promptly brought them to school anyway and took them into class, as she is wont to do.
Following the hospital tour, the RNC riding team embarked on a relatively quick, but action-packed camel ride. Picture Lawrence of Arabia with much more grunting and much less grace. The grunting was obviously from the camels. See RNC documentarian Coleen for footage.
As per usual, the RNC interview team switched up the plans for the day and headed back to Tsibiri, the wonderful school to which we thought we had already said our goodbyes, in order to speak to a few of the sponsored students and to have them share their fascinating, and often sad, stories with the RNC support team back home. Both the dire need for student sponsors and the compassion of the teachers and existing sponsors became more and more obvious with every story shared. Words cannot describe the rare interactions that RNC sponsorship team members Coleen and David shared with their sponsored students.
The RNC voyage team must now bid Maradi and her nearby villages farewell as we return to the capital for two days, and then back to the homestead.