Today we visited the village of Gunjara. This was an amazing day. It took about an hour to drive to the road up the mountain but we arrived there to find the road washed out. So the big bag and other supplies we had to carry up. It was very humid and we were soon sweating buckets. When we reached the village of Jumuna we stopped for cold drinks and fortunately found a porter to carry the bag. We finished the steep climb to Gunjara and on the way some children came to help carry our stuff. We were warmly welcomed at the village school. Here we have supplied 24 sheets of steel roofing and some desks but they cannot be transported up the road until the weather is better and the road more stable. We were so very touched by the simplicity of these village children and people. They had never had to do a welcoming ceremony before so it made it more sincere. The 40 children who attend the school sat in rows before us with the mothers gathered around them. We had some very simple speeches and then we presented the children with novelty pens and hats which caused a lot of excitement. We had a bag of clothes but left these for the principal to give out. We presented a football and badminton set. The school is in deplorable condition but at least the roofing and desks are a start. Now the children will be able to attend school when it rains. They played music for us and we danced with the women. A delicious lunch was prepared for us at one of the village houses. This village has virtually no water. In the dry season there is none. I, of course, needed a toilet after lunch and two women led me some distance to a hole in the ground surrounded by a canvas sheet. When I came out they had warm water for me to wash my hands and were delighted to tell me that it was warm. They held onto to me while we walked back. These women are amazing and just love to look after me. I was just so touched. This village would never see white people. They wanted us to look at their orange tree orchard but we did not have time unfortunately but they gave us a bag of the most delicious oranges. These really are organic.
It was such a great visit. I could not help but think how lucky I was to experience these visits to remote villages. We cannot imagine the life these people live, like waiting all day for a bucket of water. I feel privileged indeed. I hope we can further help this little school that has nothing. My thanks to the people of Gunjara for their hospitality.
|Gunjara School children|
|Child happy with pen and hat|