Whilst traveling through Zambia, I walked past the Saint Joseph Preschool. I heard children's laughter and singing. The teachers were standing on the doorstep and waved friendly at me. I walked towards the school and when the little ones saw me, they were very enthusiastic.
They've had many opportunities to touch and smell a Muzungu (which is the name for white people), but when one shows up, it's always a treat. Like little scientists they carefully looked at me and looked at their hands when they touched me, maybe my skin-colour rubs off on them, which was not the case I guess. After a very exciting encounter with the children, I spoke with the teacher named Elizabeth and her assistant teacher (whose name I unfortunately forgot).
Both of the ladies do their work practically as a hobby. They both have families to take care of, but they also wanted to do something for the community.
When the children are in school, they learn to count and speak some English words, but it also gives parents time to have an extra job in the mornings. I really enjoyed spending time with the ladies, talking about life in both our continents, while watching the children play.
Elizabeth was giving me plenty of things to put into perspective.
After talking for quite a while I promised to come back the next day to talk some more. Before I left I asked if they ever have their class photos taken. Elizabeth said yes, but it's been a while, so I proposed to take some the next day.
Instead of taking the same old boring photos I wanted to let children be children.
One thing I know about kids, is that they love to yell and be loud, so that just what I let them do and took some photos of them being themselves.
The ladies brought their beautiful Chitenge cloths, which can be wrapped around the waist but also around the head, so they would look nice for their personal portrait.
I had a lot of fun hanging around with the children and talking to the ladies. Traveling is all about learning I guess, as a token of appreciation I can give something back with a little help of my camera. When the photos are printed they were sent to the school.
Project: Saint Joseph Preschool
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© Copyright Roel van den Broek 2011