In Bilibiza there is a school where most of the local children begin and culminate their primary school studies. It is a one story big building, with large windows that allow the breeze to cool the rooms. The green areas are full of shade trees and of course the most varied fauna, including beautiful chameleons.
For the smaller children there is a kindergarden called “La Escolinha” (small school), where many children attend on a regular basis. Through the songs and the school activities they learn the basics of the Portuguese language, which is the official tongue and which by the way is very little spoken in Bilibiza, but it is useful in the main regions of the country and the language in common among other ethnic groups of the nation.
During our stay in BIlibiza, we acknowledged that many of the children between 4 to 10 years knew nothing of the Portuguese language, so we questioned their parents of the reason why they do not send their children to school, although it is free. They answered that children in Bilibiza can choose by themselves whether they want to study or not. So if the child is not interested in going to the kinder garden, the parents do not push them him to go. The result is that the child does not learn Portuguese and diminish his opportunities to continue the primary school or the secondary school.
In regard of this situation Hanaffan and I improvised a simple day class to see how many children were encouraged to attend it. The result was not very stimulating in comparison to the number of children who visit our hut on a daily basis to play. It seems that they are afraid of the pencil and paper!. However, the few that attended seemed to have enjoyed learning the vowels and painting.
It was a nice day, but do not believe that it was easy to learn the vowels! We had to enlist the help of a young man from the village who explained what we said and helped us to translate into the local language known as Macua. On the other hand, and as an incentive, we offered prizes for good behavior, attention and participation… Among the favorite awards were milk biscuits and inflatable balloons who the children loved, but as soon as they exploded, the little ones cried inconsolably…
The end of the class was fabulous! It consisted of making a drawing of Hanaffan. All the children were concentrated and made their best. Sincerely, for me, all the pictures were beautiful… nothing more similar to my beloved Hanaffan!
Here in photos a retelling of this beautiful day. Thanks Life, you have given me so much!