Galwewa - 2009

Here we are again at Galwewa School just outside Hambantota.  Today the principal is not here as he is on a three day inservice in Colombo, so I meet with his assistant who I have not met before.  He is new to the school this year.  The teachers are still the same, and of course the children are the same, just in a higher grade. 
On this trip, I am planning to buy shoes, socks and thongs for all of the children at this school.     

The first day at Galwewa is spent measuring the children's feet for shoes.  We do this by placing the child's foot on a piece of paper and drawing around it.  Raja then writes the child's name and class.  

After we do this, all the children are gathered in the large class area and we hand out the chocolate that we have brought with us.  I also ask all children to make sure they attend school tomorrow because I would be back with lots of gifts for them.      

Off we go and head straight to the shoe store.  I meet with the owner, explain what I want and negotiate a price.  I am not really happy with the price, but as this is the only shoe store in town, my hands are tied.  I placed the order and arranged for delivery of the shoes to the home of a friend who lives close to the shop in Hambantota.  


The next day we are ready to go back to the school.  The children meet us at the gate and assist with the unloading of the car.  Everything is taken into the large classroom and all the children are assembled.  It was a long wait for them as we had a lot of sorting and arranging to do before we could start handing things out.  However, soon it's all done and we get started

​The children come up as their names are called and we give them the box with shoes, socks and thongs.  When that task was completed we then asked all the children to again come for their school bag and school stationery pack.      

There were a couple of children who didn't come that day so we left their things with the teachers so they could give them to them the next day they were at school. 
Again I took along playground equipment and more ball pumps.  A lot of the balls I had given on the previous trip weren't being played with because they were flat.   

On the previous trip, Raja took a number of photos which I made into a book if they were in it.  Raja took a lot of photos again on this trip, so I'll do the same for them again.  It was disappointing 
not to have seen the principal, but I will write a letter to him once I return home.   

There was talk of the school converting a small unused room into a library.  I will be pleased about that as with each visit I donate a number of reading books to the school, and it will be good to have them in a library for easy access instead of in a locked cupboard in the principal's office.    

Time flies, and now the school day is over and the children are packed and ready to go home.  I bid them farewell assuring them that I would be returning to see them again in 2010.