We had a ten hour drive from Niamey to Maradi on Saturday, which, despite the traffic, was blessedly uneventful. The weather has been a blessing as well, with nighttime temps around 55 degrees and sweatshirts in the daytime. We lovingly laugh at the past volunteers who sweated all day and night long.
On Sunday we attended a church service in Danja. There was a lot of lively music and singing. Everyone seemed to want to get a chance at being in front. After the music, they wanted to know who all these strange people were, so Kara did the honor of introducing the volunteers… introducing Rae Ann as a printer (oops – gotta love French bloopers) instead of a nurse.
Today we went to visit the school in Tsibiri, where we did an art project with the highest level class at the primary school. The project was started by a school in Woodbury, Minnesota, and after a long journey, we will be returning it to their hands. We also toured the school and saw how well they are doing! The director is excited about the increase in enrollment due to the new student sponsorship program- especially with girls. Because of this, it is apparent that they need more beds to host increasing numbers and they hope to expand the number of computers by 100%. The teachers have been teaching the computers classes themselves (instead of having the specialist come in) and even want to try learning Excel so they can keep records of the students’ progress.
When we stopped by the storage area for the food we found out that, due to the donations given through Remember Niger, not only were they provided with three meals every day, but also, the boarding students were able to enjoy a meal of pasta one day, instead of the normal millet. They were so happy they danced!
From art projects, to sponsors, to computers and enough food – so many reasons to celebrate!