Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Olivia's School Visitation Day

Boda-boda drivers are known for overcharging but the trip to Olivia’s school was really…and I mean really…far off the main road. I actually ended up giving the guy more than he asked. Silly me. I first went to the place where I had last seen Olivia in school and learned that the students in P6 are now situated in a different building. Because I didn’t know where this new building was, I had to trust that this boda-boda driver would take me there. Eventually all the people disappeared from the roadside, the path became narrow and bumpy, and overgrowth crowded the way. Right about the then I thought I’d better get off that boda because he might be taking me someplace other than All Saints school, which is known to happen. Thankfully, the school sign appeared in the distance just then. Whew!

Given how far off the main road this school is, you’d think these children were lepers. I felt badly for those students whose families could not afford the trip. Yet, the tidy school was overflowing with voices worshipping God this early Sunday morning. Olivia is the sponsored child of a friend and I try hard to stay in touch with her while I’m in country. When not in school she stays near where I live so it’s easy to find her at home. During school terms, though, the children board at the school so they can focus on their studies and Olivia is no exception.
I quickly found her classroom and met her head teacher. A very surprised Olivia was all smiles when she saw me.

Olivia is certainly a beautiful young lady and I’m always surprised to see how she’s grown. She continues to be a quiet girl and seldom speaks up in class, says her teacher. She also continues to struggle with her assignments, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the problem when I’m not there to see how she behaves, how she studies, or how the teachers deliver the lessons. There aren’t programs I place to help children who struggle and there’s no such thing as “No Child Left Behind.” I was happy to hear, though, that the school would not pass her if her grades were not at a certain level, as so many schools do. Please pray for Olivia, as she continues to work hard and become the young lady God has designed her to be.