Mountain School Desks
Today I wake up to the Roosters crowing in the yard at sun up. Today is going to be a very special day that I have waited for for a long time. It is time to go to the Mountain School and see the 25 school desks and benches that Ryder Systems of Miami Florida had made for a new village school high on a mountain with 3 classrooms.
When I go downstairs for breakfast the Sisters tell me there is a problem. The area has become unstable because of upcoming elections and the police will not allow me to go to the top of the mountain to the school because it would be very unsafe for me . They tell the Sisters it is okay to go to the Convent at the bottom of the mountain and I will be safe.
I am a little taken back by this news but please understand it is for my own safety as not to be hurt and the police feel responsible for me so I along with the Sisters must do what they tell us to do. So with all that I meet Sister Usha. She is the Sister that will take Sister Anna Mary and Myself to the bottom of the mountain to a Convent and the entire school of children and staff will come down the mountain to meet me and we will all make a fun day of it for everyone.
I and the Daughters of the Cross Sisters have worked very hard on this project for 6 months and it has not been easy in such a remote area. Sister Usha , Sister Anna Mary , myself and the driver get in a small jeep type truck and make our way from Khuntpani to the bottom of the Mountain where the small school is located. It is a long 2 hour ride in a very rural area. Hills are all around us as we drive down the road. Along the drive when our truck got close to the Convent and Mountain School Sister Usha had to report to the police station to let them know we will drive onward to the Convent .
We were given permission to go to the Convent and we arrive at Deepanjali Convent about 20 minutes. After meeting the Sisters of the Convent, and walking around the area to take a few photos, the Mountain School children and staff along with some village parents arrive to welcome me. They tell me they are very sad that I could not come to the top of the mountain to the school but it best for my safety and said we will have a small program right here today of sports .
The Sisters show me photos of the new small school and all the new desks. They looked great. The Sisters were truly the backbone of this project working hard every day with local vendors to get everything made and brought to the school at the top of the mountain. The village people were very grateful for what we did to help the village school.
This project would have never been done if it was not for Ryder Systems in Miami Florida stepping forward to help me. Here are few photos of the School , along with desks and and benches for you to see. They have been put in all 3 classrooms of the school at the top of the mountain. It all worked out perfect.
After I look at all the photos I look up and see the children standing in front of me in straight rows. Each student has made me a necklace of flowers to put on my neck to welcome me. There were so many flowers they could not all fit. It was a very warm thoughtful welcome from the children and staff.
After my welcome the school founder Panda Hasada spoke for a few minutes telling everyone how special the school desks are along with the school itself. Now the children of the village have a nice school to go to to be educated by trained teachers. His words were like music to my ears and everyone else. After the short talk the teachers and children went to the playground area and had a sports competition of running and jumping along with other activities.
Boys competed with the boys and Girls with the girls. They had lots of fun and I enjoyed watching them. As the sports competition came to an end Sister Anna Mary and Sister Usha gathered all the donation boxes that I have brought for all the students of the Mountain School. Because the Sisters looked after every penny of this project there was enough money to buy each student 3 school books along with pencil cases for everyone.
I also had some balls jump ropes, frisbees, and stuffed animals to give the children. The Teachers and the Sisters passed everything out to the children. The children had such a happy time looking at the books or playing with everything. The teachers were having just as much fun as the children, As an example teaching the girls how to jump rope. It was such a nice time for the Sisters and all the adults who came for this special day to watch.
School is supposed to be a place to learn but it is also a place to have fun too and that is just what this day was. A Fun Day for Everyone! It was now getting to late afternoon and Sister Usha had arranged for all the Mountain school children to have something to eat. After lunch everyone got washed up and said good bye to me and Thank You. The children drove away in a little van to go back up to the top of the mountain where they live.
It has been a long day for Sister Usha, Sister Anna Mary and myself. After some tea and cookies and a short rest Sister Usha Sister Anna Mary Myself and the driver get in the small jeep type truck and say good bye to the Sisters of Deepanjali Convent and start making our way back to Khuntpani. One place that we have to stop at along the way is the police station to let them know that we have had a good day and will be traveling back to the Convent in Khuntpani.
Sister Usha says Thank You to the police for looking after us all day long. Once we get a short distance from the Mountain school I look out the window where the Mountain School would be and say a prayer for all the people that I met today. We had a wonderful day today. The ride home is very long and I have a chance to see the beautiful Indian sunset go behind the hills as we drive in the remote area. When we arrive back at the Khuntpani Convent the Sisters greet us at the door and ask how was the day? I tell everyone, it was beautiful!