On Monday, February 25, the Global Village Foundation Portable Libraries Winter 2008 project began to roll out to village schools in Quan Nam province. Our vans rattle along the narrow and bumpy roads to central schools. The teachers and their keenest students travel from their satellite schools in the district to join the celebratory and learning experiences offered by our international volunteer team of 13 educators, translators, and organizers. The logistics of getting the volunteers, libraries, equipment (posters,paper,pens,prizes)for the learning sessions and food, cooking and service items for a gathering of 300 people are daunting.
Our days begin with a 5 a.m. wake up call and end at about 9 p.m., after we have reorganized for the next day.
What an exciting time it is, from the opening ceremonies, including the endless speeches that are a Vietnamese tradition and the sweet presentations of welcome by the students, to the learning sessions for teachers and masses of kids and the pure delight of introducing the gathered throng to the American tradition of the hot dog!!!
The most endearing of all is to see the genuine delight with the gift of the libraries and the enthusiastism for reading. We teach the teachers some techniques to make reading fun and to stimulate creativity and encourage inquisitiveness. The children are given reading and creative writing assignments ( and have a lot of games and entertainment) Our translators are very busy!!! Action songs fill in a lot of gaps.
Yesterday, it began to rain, right smack dab in the middle of the children's outdoor reading exercise, but they would not quit or take a moment to run for the shelter of the porches....they improvised tents and carried on. This preseverance and ingenuity are charateristics which have helped this nation recover from 2000 years of conflict and invasion!
Bruce and I are doing a lot of squatting on little stools, gesturing, smiling, nodding, singing, clapping, acting, and pantomiming.....as is everyone as we work our way through the day.
At the end of the day the schools which receive the libraries for the first rotation, pack them onto what ever mode of transportation is available and away they go!!!
Thank you all donors for your support of this program. We are so grateful for this opportunity to deliver your gifts.