Today was a difficult day. When I arrived at school, two of my little students, Mawejje and Maamu, were waiting for me with cuts from some broken glass. Another teacher had helped them clean up the blood, but they were waiting for ointment and band-aids. I got out my kit and gloves and tried not to cringe too much as I finished cleaning and bandaging them up. They barely flinched and did not shed a single tear.
Later on, during a lesson on Shapes, one of our boys, Yashire, pulled out a baggie with a spoonful of some white substance and was sharing small pinches of it with his classmates. (I know it sounds like drugs, but I think it was some kind of grain or sugar!) Some bickering and pushing ensued- as they were all very hungry. It is the Monday after a long weekend, and most of them probably hadn’t eaten much at home. My first instinct was to bolt to a local shop and just buy them some breakfast. On second thought, I decided that was probably not best in the long run. There are systems in place and I don’t want to disturb the order of things. I am the rookie outsider here.
A few minutes later, Teacher R. came to share a slice of cake she had saved from her graduation party, and they were delighted! She gave each child about one square centimeter. I expected them to immediately devour the bites, but most of them put the tiny pieces of cake into their pockets and ate them a few crumbs as a time. Then, when some had finished theirs, the others shared some crumbs with them. Then they started to fight over the crumbs again.
Obviously, this made for very little learning, except by me. What an eye-opener. I am humbled. I am heartbroken. And I am feeling a little hopeless at the moment. There is so much to be done! How do we prioritize all these needs? Some days, I feel like I am hardly contributing at all. Then I remember that God put me here...right here! He has a reason. I know that for now, my job is to show up and be their Teacher Sarah.
So, the day consisted of me giving a lot of hugs, breaking up a lot of fights, and sticking on a lot of band-aids. And I suppose that those things are more important than triangles, the letter H, and 2+2.