Today has been a marvelous day and later tonight Haley will be sharing her account. I know the title seems shocking when our reading camp is going so well but the truth is that most of these children suffer from Malaria. Some are suffering right now.
Her name is Victoria. She is 6 years old. As we tested each child for reading placement, she would barely speak. She couldn’t recognize letter and could hardly say the alphabet. I know she did not attend our preschool. She doesn’t understand English and looks really sad. Her sadness is the kind that makes you want to cry with her.
She and two other children were chosen to be individually tutored. I would take Victoria. As we sat on the floor, I realized her eyes showed the tell-tale sign of Malaria–yellowing of the pupils. Then she crawled onto my lap. Her skin was moist and hot. She could barely whisper. I realized that she was definitely suffering from Malaria but I am sure she did not want to miss the opportunity to start learning. We brought her some water and began to work.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H–that is as far as we could go but after a while she became more confident in naming her letters. These are the times when I realize why I gave up a good job, have hardly seen your new husband of 6 months for more than a few days at a time, and why working far into the night to find support, is not nearly enough to sacrifice. These children are often called to sacrifice their life.
Today was only the beginning for this week of reading. The teens are doing an excellent job. They are teaching and playing and most of all loving the children. In return, they can hardly take a step without a child holding their hand or touching their hair. Many young girls are already in love with Ian and the boys are having a blast learning about paper airplanes. These may be 14 and 15 year olds in the van but in the classroom they are very capable teachers. They are changing lives–including their own. Moms, dads, grandmas, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, teachers–everyone be proud of this team.
It goes with out saying that having Gail, a reading specialist, and Zach as our teaching leadership is an honor. I do need to post more photos of Gail and promise to do so tomorrow. Today my battery died. If you are on facebook, check out Tana Lopez Younger. Her photos of our mission are incredible.