Library renovating and the FINAL PRODUCT! We’re DONE!
Library opening ceremony at my school to thank all the donors that made our library possible (the David Rattray Foundation for the furniture and some books, Books for Africa for a majority of the books, and the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation in Nigeria for even more of the books!) Department of Education KZN officials attended, whom I partnered with on our second BFA container here in South Africa that was funded through the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation. About ten Peace Corps Volunteers that weren’t part of our first Books for Africa project received books from this project, and then 32 other schools identified by the Dept. received books. My principal was beaming with pride and joy, and I will never forget that day! In total, 71 rural libraries have been established since the start of all our Books for Africa efforts! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WORKED WITH ME AND MADE THIS POSSIBLE!
Monica’s farewell function – one of my closest Volunteers geographically and friend in my cohort. She is traveling back to America soon, but I know I will see her! Her school put on an on-time, meaningful and beautiful ceremony for her. It was incredible to see how much her community loved her and the impact she has had.
Miss Molefe, my counterpart, graduated from University of South Africa with a bachelor’s degree in education in Durban. We traveled there with her family and friends from her house at 4:30 am in the morning to make the 10 a.m. ceremony. I am so happy I got to attend and see her graduate because she is one of my best friends here. I’m happy when others I care about are happy!
George’s 30th birthday/farewell function. In the course of a weekend, I took six forms of transportation to get to my best friend George’s site in Mpumalanga to celebrate his 30th birthday, attend his farewell, and help him finish his library before he moves to KwaZulu-Natal for his third year. Tiring, but worth it.
Grade 6 girls cleaning the renovated library
Painting the library
FINAL PRODUCT! My host mama made those curtains!
Grade 6 and 7 learners preforming a skit in English at the library opening ceremony
Mrs. Dubazana of the KZN Dept. of Edu speaking about the importance of literacy
Grade 7 learner library leader Snenjabulo reading an essay about the importance of libraries
Ben Henderson, CEO of David Rattray Foundation, urging learners to use the library to the fullest
My principal speaking – she was SO proud; a moment I won’t forget
Second BFA container numbers
Thank you from our learners!
Laura’s mom sent a box of Cinco de Mayo goodies!
Puzzle by candlelight without electricity? Sure
Monica's grade 6 learners' skit with a sign that says "thank you" in all 11 of the official South African languages
Monica's sister, Philile, giving a speech — definitely a teary-eyed moment
Gifts from the community!
Laura and Will – VIP status
Monica dancing with her staff
My amazing cluster
Before graduation! Miss Molefe looks so adorable!
Waiting in line to get her diploma
One PROUD family!
My best friend here in South Africa. My service would have been so different without her.