I am arriving at school. I am smiling when I see the buildings among the eucalyptus trees. Part of me is thinking I’m coming home again… This time I’m half an hour late.

Madam Kheri steps out of her office and hugs me. I have interrupted a meeting. I am tell telling her to finish her discussion quietly. 

While I am waiting, a teacher I don’t know is grabbing my hand. She is taking me to the back of the administration building and she points me into the courtyard to the girls’ bathroom – she tells me that since they have tiles and running water, the girls spend a lot of time in the toilet building – “They’re enjoying it!”. She doesn’t seem to know that I’m behind this project.

Not many minutes pass by since I sit in Madam Kheri’s office, and the sponsored children appear. They want to recite poems, they tell me proudly. I let them, although I feel embarrassed at the moment. I know this is how they show their gratitude. They all want me to hug them and take pictures.

Madam Kheri tells me to get to work 😀 I appreciate her militant style. We start with kindergarten classes and pre-primary grade today. Puzzles and other simple games. The kids catch on quickly. They all raise their hands and shout “Teacher, teacher!”. I’ve heard that word hundreds of times in just two hours.

Word of the day: Exhaustion!


It’s morning, I’m not late today. I enter Madam Kheri’s office and quickly find out that the initial plan has changed even before I have arrived :))).

Today we start with coloring and drawing competitions in classes 1 and 2. The 2nd graders decide they want to call me Madam Rihanna. I draw a monkey on the blackboard and write Madam Rihanna on top. They are having a great laugh. We turn the lesson into a monkey drawing competition We learn how to vote for the most beautiful picture :).

We then move on, after we finish the competitions, to the current theme of the day with the teenage girls – menstruation workshops. With a lot of shyness at first, which quickly disappears, the questions start to come one after the other. I was initially nervous, now I am proud of what is happening here. Madam Mwini is the perfect partner for such courses. Empathic, calm, open, she radiates confidence with all her being.

Words of the day: more exhaustion, accompanied by a feeling of success.


We continue the discussions with the girls – much more dynamic today – they broach with me topics such as bullying and body shaming, there are many questions, I hear many ideas and even more laughs. We talk about our own experiences and what makes us feel insecure, and how to deal with that insecurity. Wow! We finish by shouting “Girls’ Power” in the schoolyard.

It’s time for grades 3 through 6 to paint. They are painting me. I’m extremely white in all their paintings.

When we finish painting, we start a question and answer session. They are allowed to ask me anything, I have to answer. Interesting experience, and extremely many questions about my father :D. It culminates when they tell me they want to touch me… The teachers have to intervene to get off me the dozens of kids pulling my hair and touching my arms.

18.06. – I think 😀

I can’t remember the exact date. I’m actually rushing to the airport. But the boys are waiting for me at school today. I’m met on the porch by little kids, one with a machete in his hand. I quickly call the principal, she looks at me like I’m crazy. She doesn’t understand what’s bothering me. The child hands me the machete and tells me not to be scared: “On the way home from school I cut grass.” I think about how ‘European’ I am and I laugh :)))).

The 7th and 8th graders appear in the room where they are already used to finding me. They don’t know whether to laugh or leave the room. The mzungu woman wants to talk to them about sexual health. And for me it’s the ultimate challenge. Luckily Moses is helping me – I asked him to come with me – a man from their community definitely has more credibility. Slowly the conversation gets fluent and we touch on important topics – protection, respect, disease, pregnancy responsibility, condoms, consent. The conclusion is: “Madam Timeea, no one has ever talked to them about these topics before. We need you!”


It doesn’t even matter which day it is :). I’m already in place. The kids call me Teacher. The teachers are joking – their school would be maximally successful if I were hired as a teacher there, it would increase its notoriety. All the students want to go to the room where mzungu holds workshops.

Today it’s the girls’ turn again. It quickly becomes obvious that the burden of protection, of pregnancy, of responsibility is more theirs. Unlike boys, they open the condom packets and want to learn how to apply them. They recognize that things don’t always go as they should. And they’re the ones who want to change them. And then, out of the blue a hand is raised and the question falls like a boulder on a reed roof, leaving behind a huge hole – I am looking into the eyes of a girl who has gone through a rape…Outside it’s been raining cats and dogs for 5 hours. When we’re done, I just go outside and stand in the rain, wishing it would wash my brains out. What do I do now?


The soccer championship begins. Madago wins all but one match. The kids are so proud of their new uniforms, they want to win it all. And they do!


Schools have been closed unexpectedly. There are protests in all the big cities. On TV it looks worse than in reality. However, the violence in the streets is not to be ignored… we’re waiting for the situation to calm down.

Last Friday

Today we are all playing. I’m convinced that children in this country don’t play enough. They want to, but they don’t know how, they’re missing out on developing skills because of it. So today we’re playing the ‘sotron’, we’re learning the jump rope championship, yet the peak of popularity is ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’. We are playing, running, laughing, the rain is pouring again, but it is stopping in 10 minutes and the courtyard is filled with children again. I can finally hear laughter from every corner.

I am entering Madam Kheri’s office after a few hours – time to say goodbye. I get presents – sari clothes and slippers. We are dancing in the office, chatting, hoping that we will see each other again in winter at the latest (when it is warm and nice there :D). We set the priority for the future: the school clinic!

I’m sorry to be leaving – I got attached to the place, to the people, to their daily battles, to what they do well and less well. We all want to have a good life… For some it’s simple, for others it is more complicated. People here fall in the second category.

I am getting on the bike and waving my hand. The kids are not waving back. I hear the voice in front of me saying: “They don’t want the mzungu to leave.”

POSTED BY admin | Jul, 02, 2024 |