JUN '09 Kids in School

Almas Elementary School

At Almas Elementary School

Last April, we shipped school books, children's literature, and some flash cards for the classroom.  Mostly things the principal indicated would be useful.  For filler in the box, we used bags of party balloons; they arrived in time for children's day in June. 

Traveling to Sao Tome again in Jun/Jul, I was around for the last few days of the school year.  We had shipped a few more boxes of books to the school principal and I was hand-carrying a fair number.

Dropping off the books, I had a chance to visit with the teachers and took pictures of the children from one class. The camera is a great opener for conversation.  A teacher's child (collage left) is curious and wants to see how it works.  (Click on the photo to see full sized.)

Looking at the pictures on the wall of the entrance hallway, they pointed out for me a young girl who had died of malaria since my last visit.  I had spoken with her several times, shook hands with her just five months before.  Last time I visited, a child had lost both her parents to disease.  She'd had to move to another village to live with relatives.  Such loss is heart-breakingly common in the developing countries.  After years in decline in Sao Tome & Principe, malaria has begun again to increasingly take it's toll, especially among children.

When I could, I'd swing by at the end of the day to give the teachers a ride down the mountain; saved them a long walk or cab fare.  Some of the children rode along, too.