When we arrived at school on Tuesday, the school was closed and there were hundreds of people on the dirt field behind the school and there were lots of soldiers and police and other military looking people. When we walked to the edge of the field the people were in a large circle and there were children in uniform and military were standing around a fire torch. There was lots of ceremony and speeches and national pride stuff going on. It was for what they call Mwenge or the Mwenge/Uhuru (freedom) torch, which is a torch that was lit on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro when independence was declared in the 1960’s and it is traveling around the country right now. It has been here in the Moshi area from Tuesday to Thursday. Here is a picture and video.
We have officially finished the assessment phase. There are a few stragglers who have not been to school in a while, but we are moving to the next phase. We are reviewing the results and identifying students who we have some concerns about and preparing to talk to the parents to gather additional information. The school has been really welcoming and the principal said that we are part of the school and doing this work is doing the school’s work so that is refreshing. We have one more week of school before the mid-year winter vacation (this is their winter because we are south of the equator and the school year is January to December). During vacation, we will be gathering additional information from the teachers and working with Veronica on ways she can support the children in the classroom and through pull out instruction.
On the other hand, we have spent today and some time earlier this week following after some additional information and meetings to assure everyone necessary that they know Sarah is here and the work her organization is doing. Today, we had to leave school to follow up with a few offices again and get our ducks in a row, but we are all good now. Just the typical stuff to make sure all are happy and supportive.