Saturday, 22 March 2014

15.3.14 Saturday. Official Opening of the Library

We were up and smartly dressed this morning, Channeh met us at the school and we all set off for Kaur, calling at the café for breakfast for us and the boys.  We arrived to find everyone waiting for us and as we had brought a mop and bucket from Jamwelly, after breakfast we opened the library and began the finishing off work of cleaning the windows and the floor.  The ceremony had been arranged for 11am, and to our surprise that was the time everyone arrived!  Ribbons were tied across the doors, a group of dignitaries arrived, a crowd of pupils in uniforms and we were ready.  Belle Vue Boys stood outside the library for group photos.  An inscription is going to be painted over the door by the local sign writer.  ‘Belle Vue Boys.  Proud to Care’  Several speeches were made and then the Head Boy of Kaur cut the ribbon to allow everyone to surge inside and look at the finished room.  A job well done and to celebrate, the sound of drums drew everyone outside to see a Tree Kankoran, specially invited to entertain the visitors. A large crowd surrounded the drummers and dancing began, several of the boys joined in, Arsalan joined the drumming, Mr Macateer danced with the local ladies and a good time was had by all.  Lots of  souvenir photographs were taken and happy memories made.  The celebration went on for over an hour and then lunch arrived.  Steve and I went back to Jamwelly, Omar brought some of the visitors down to see the nursery school,  and then we all rested out of the hot sun until late afternoon.  As we are setting off at 6am in the morning, we decided to spend the night at Kaur, so we packed up our things and went up to the school where a football match was planned between the visitors and the school team. We had brought some of the football kits which had been donated, teams were chosen and dressed in the new kit, photographs taken and then the match commenced.  For the first time in all our school trips the visitors actually won the match! The Head Teacher from Kaur then asked us all to return to their classroom quarters where a small crowd had gathered to say Goodbye as we are leaving so early in the morning.  The Deputy Head appeared, and gave a small speech before handing out African outfits that had been made for the guests and ourselves.  We all had to put them on and pose for photographs.  Miss Fox then gave a short speech on behalf of the visitors.  The boys were overwhelmed by the generosity of the hosts, and some of them also made speeches thanking everyone for their hospitality.  As Atique said, ‘you housed us, you fed us and now you even clothed us’  Hamza said that although he had travelled a lot, mostly 5 star, ‘he had never experienced hospitality like this, which truely came from the heart’
We then returned to the library where we set up our bed for the night, and then joined the boys for the evening meal.  Loud music was coming from the village and the boys decided to go and investigate whilst Steve and I retired for the night, although the loud music kept us awake until 1am when the power went off!  A successful and happy visit with lots of new friends and memories made.

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