A momentous day for the Aquinoe library as cataloguing was completed and the first books left the shelves in the hands of the enthusiastic Standard Eight pupils. It’ll take a while for the system to bed down and for the pupils to understand how it all works, but it was a real privilege to be there on the opening day. Lucas, the librarian, is a softly spoken “gentle giant” and I think will nurture the project to greater things.
The physical surroundings are rather downbeat at the moment as the library is located in one of the very old classrooms, but it will be doubled in size over the weekend as one of the wooden “walls” will be taken down.. This will allow for a couple of new tables and for pupils to sit and read books and newspapers. The eventual aim will be a completely new library building and hopefully, not too far into the future.I was rather tickled today when the watchman/gatekeeper, Meshack, (left on the photograph) came to borrow a book so he could while away the time in his shelter beside the entrance to the school.
On a sadder note, there are thirteen orphans at the school, many of the parents having been struck down by Aids/HIV. Some of them have relatives who do their best to help, but others stay at the school during the holidays. One of them, Maureen, has been a frequent visitor to the library, always with a smile on her face and usually wanting to help.
The water pump broke down today which means that there is no piped water in the house or school and it has to be fetched from the well or further afield. Hard work for the carriers.