Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Graduation Day...and a Lot of Rain!

The end of year came and went – not with a bang as anticipated but with a downpour ! The rain in Nazret ( usually absent during the day ) went a little crazy for the end of year celebrations – the graduation that we have all been looking forward to and practicing hard for for the past month or more .
          The day before graduation the grade school playground flooded once again ( despite digging a large hole to the outside for drainage ) so the ceremony was altered to the smaller KG compound where only about 150 of the 200 preordered ( and non refundable ) chairs would fit. Nonetheless we battled on and everyone worked hard all Saturday afternoon to put up the balloons, wrap toilet paper around the wooden poles ( this is standard decoration here ) and all went home happy in the knowledge that everything was ready.
 However, our peace was shattered when we woke up the next morning at 5.30 ( staff and children were expected to be there at 7 ) to pouring rain, thunder and lightening ! To make it all worse , it was also dark since the electricity was off ! The rain came down and down and down and simply never stopped ! Even though the KG school is a 5 minute walk, it wasn’t possible to get there without being soaked, so we hung on and on and eventually at about 8 staggered up there in the rain, paddling through large streams which had suddenly arrived.
   Unsurprisingly, the population at the school was limited – two teachers and four pupils ! – thus we decided the best thing to do was to have a very short graduation programme – a few songs ( the easiest ) and then give out the graduation certificates – even if no one arrived to watch !
     So as soon as any child arrived, rather than getting ready for the song that they had practiced for all this time, they were lumped together to try to get as many songs as possible using everyone who turned up ! This also meant that the carefully calculated costumes were all out , so we had to wrap bits of cloth around pupils simply so that they would have something colourful !
     At about 10.30 we decided that no more pupils would arrive ( by this time it was only spotting ) so started the programme . Although it went moderately well ( with yet another power cut in the middle meaning that the children and music couldn’t be heard ) it was such a disappointment – everyone had worked so very hard to make all the performances perfect and in the end they were only  ok since for most pupils it was the first time they had ever performed the song ! Still – at least we all managed to get something out !
    We had forgotten the camera in the grade school , so went to the grade school early in the morning  but it was totally flooded – up to our knees in all places – so we couldn’t wade across to get to the school office to collect it ! So after the graduation ceremony, we went back to try and see how high it had got – of course, by this time we could see that the water level had risen so much that it was now getting into the school office and the grade 2 classroom ( even though they are on a veranda ) – so had to wade through and move the photocopier a little higher as well as  try to revive anything that we had left on the floor ( like a new container  of about 15 packets of flashcards – all a soaking paper mush ! ) The next day we were able to get in and start cleaning out the thick mud – but it was all a terrible mess !
The rain was such a large shock for Nazret that the new cobblestone roads were in problem too ! – the rain had got underneath and the roads were all collapsing – so the workmen were out in force rapidly taking up the cobblestones which had only been put down a couple of months ago !! – sand bags are everywhere ! – who knows what the next downpour will bring ?!

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