Friday, February 1, 2013


The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

The Form 2 (8th grade) Science Class

The school year is now 4 of its 16 weeks into the second term.  In mid- December the season changed from hot to hot and dry with the annual Harmattan winds blowing from the Northeast bringing beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but dust, grit and dirt everywhere.  The wild fires have begun which only adds to the unpleasant air quality.  It is very hot at mid day.  The rains are due to start again early March.

When I arrived in the Village 17 months ago and immediately began teaching at the Junior High School,  I discovered that the chairs and desks you see in the picture must be provided by each student who is also responsible for the care.   However, some departing students had just left their broken furniture at the school and a sizable pile of derelict pieces were in the store room.  Looking for an after school project, I asked the Headmaster to allow me to attempt to repair some of the pieces and offer to students who may not be financially able to buy a desk and chair.   He was somewhat skeptical, but when I told him I did not believe I could make them any worse, he agreed.  During the past months I have enjoyed learning how to repair some of the pieces and when completed have turned them back to the school for student use.  With some purchases in the local market, the help of my children and purchases during my visit with them last August, I have accumulated an assortment of hand tools which now makes it easier for me to disassemble, repair or replace parts,  and then glue and clam to reassemble using screws instead of nails.  

Some furniture waiting for repair
 Last December during the end of term exam, I noticed a young student taking her exam while attempting to hold one of the legs of her desk in place with her knees.  After finding a replacement desk, I told her to bring the desk by my work room and I would attempt to reattach the leg.  My first job for a specific student.  Since then four other students have come by with their pieces and asked that I attempt a repair. 

I believe most folks and certainly Volunteers are encouraged when they can provided a service of value.  Yesterday, going out the door early in the morning on my way to school, there was a broken chair sitting outside on my porch.  No note or identification, but for me a clear  confirmation that I could be of service to one of my students.  I was encouraged.  Still do not know whose chair, but I'll get it ready.

I am looking for a student or person in the village who might like to learn something about this work and maybe other types of wood working tasks.  He or she gets the tools.


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