A school in Rwanda

Meeting kids in Rwandan school

We visit an elementary school on the way. In one of the classrooms kids have classes. We decide to take a short break here. With a principal’s approval the students interrupt their lesson to meet us. The entire crowd of kids gathers up outside the building. For a good start, I tell about Kazimierz Nowak, our great traveler, who back in 1930s traveled all alone with his bike across Africa. Now we are tracing his footsteps. One of the teachers acts as an interpreter from English to Kinyarwanda. Then the children ask many questions which are translated back into English.

It is the first time in my life I stand in front of a curious crowd of African kids in a classroom. It’s a terrific feeling. I take a look at the blackboard. There is some English, Kinyarwanda and mathematics, the universal language. I ask the kids sit down (to my surprise they do it right away) and then I write with chalk a mathematical equation on the blackboard . An eager girl volunteers to solve it. She does it well!

I browse several notebooks, then English and math textbooks. I would be happy to stay here much longer, but we must move towards the other school.

A red road brings us towards Kibeho. We pass houses made of fine clay strengthened with thick sticks. Bricks baked at the simplest way, namely in the sun, unfortunately serve just for a few rainy seasons.

The path leads through various bridges, streams and lakes with muddy water. Climbing to new heights, the view of vast valley covered with coffee, tea, sugar cane and banana trees is getting more impressive .

A volunteer to solve my equation

We approach the school for blind children in Kibeho , the Polish government supported establishment run by three Franciscan Sisters. It’s a great undertaking and yet more admirable are people devoted to its development.

We participate at meetings with blind children, we tell about our trip, the children touch bikes and ask questions, for example, ‘why you got such big bags?’ or ‘what do you keep inside?’. This is a really moving experience. The place has a fantastic aura, we look at everyday life of pupils who are in the same full of joy and energy as their healthy peers.

The landscape Kibeho is formed of lush hills and vast valleys. Here and there I discern tiny villages with sorghum crops around them. We salute cyclists carrying hundred kilos of luggage on their extra endurable trunks. Spreading along the road African trees provide some shade. Kids play with a ball made of banana leaves wrapped around with a liana cord. A red clay road leads us toward Burundi.

rwanda school