Kym Fish- School Days Are Always Good Days
28 Jun, 2012
It feels like it’s going to be a good day. The Land-cruisers, packed with school supplies, books, games, and ladies eager to visit, start the trek out to the girls’ schools. Along the route, there are water buffalo plodding along the roadside, small children herding sheep and goats, and tuc tucs buzzing through it all. Upon arrival at a school, the young girls greet everyone with singing. The words are unfamiliar, but the voices are lovely, the smiles are contagious, and it all makes for a warm welcome.
During a typical visit, the classroom is divided into small groups of girls, and games such as Twister, Memory, Barrel of Monkeys, and Eye Spy are played, often times in new and exciting ways. It feels like playing, but in reality, dexterity, coordination, memory, math skills, and English are being practiced. The girls are quick to catch on, and are exhilarated when they excel. Numerous “bravos” are echoed around the room.
Other times, the girls have their own games to share. On one trip to the Fayoum, the girls had constructed a volleyball net out of branches and vines, not to regulation standards, but a volleyball venue all the same. The girls must have been practicing their technique; they solidly defeated the visitors in every game.
Imaginative creativity in the girls’ schools is abundant, and this was exemplified on a three-day trip to the Minya area in the spring of 2010. Tours of the classrooms showed the corners to be filled with projects, created with skilled little hands. The Great Pyramids, a common theme, were constructed with accuracy, incredible since the girls had never traveled to see the pyramids. Other projects included fruits molded from clay, paper flowers, and a doll with a fashionable outfit made from a potato chip bag, which shows that nothing goes to waste, and anything can be transformed into something.
At the end of the visits, almost all of the projects were bestowed upon the visitors as gifts, so many that they filled the back of the vehicles. Whether in Fayoum, Giza, or Minya, the Egyptian school girls are all the same. They are eager for company, they are excited about showing off their classroom and their projects, and they enjoy new activities and interaction with visitors. They love to learn, and they dream of big futures ahead. Books and school supplies are so much appreciated, and the girls are generous in their reciprocal outpouring of gifts, smiles, and hugs.
Yes, school visiting days are always good days.