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From Chris's Heart

November 2008
Mama Linda Excellent Primary School
by Amy Gutteridge

Going to Africa was such an amazing call for God to place on my heart. I could write for days to tell you of the experiences that I had in the short time that I was there. I was not sure exactly what God had planned for my time in Africa. However, once I arrived at the compound, I knew the single reason that God had sent me to this foreign land.

As we went to our first morning meeting, I saw these children, dressed in their maroon and pink outfits walking to the school buildings. I could hardly wait to get to them and watch them in their studies.

I watched these 108 children learn in the very buildings that we have raised and are raising from the ground up! They spend their time in class just like we do here. They learn spelling, math and writing. I think they would all answer just like my boys that their favorite thing about school is recess!

I had an amazing time with them at recess. After they were provided with breakfast, they had play time. They would return to class until lunch. After lunch, the “Babies Class,” which consists of 3 year olds, is sent home while the “Nursery- 2 classes” have recess and then later return to class.

On the last day of school that they had while I was in Kenya, I met with the headmaster and teachers of the school. I presented the teachers with some teaching aids for their rooms. These were things like flashcards and marbles for counting. It was nothing too extravagant, but to them it was. They teach by repetition with very little hands on. So, I worked on teaching them how to use some of these manipulatives to help them in their class. They were really excited to try this teaching method.

I also talked with the teachers and later the parents and kids about the name of our school. Mama Linda EXCELLENT Primary School. I stressed the importance of this school and these kids being excellent. We further emphasized this in an awards assembly.

One of our supporters, Janet Lalli, had a vision for encouraging excellence in our school. She made and I presented sashes to all of the kids at our school. Then the teachers named the students who had achieved greatness in a particular subject and they were presented with a pin to put on their sash. This has become part of the uniform at the school and will be an everyday reminder to strive for excellence.

Now, all the encouragement I gave them will only keep them doing what they have already been doing. I am happy to announce that our school is the number one school in the region. And, of the top ten students in the region, 7 of them attend our school.

We are doing a great work in this school and I look forward the expanding this excellent place of education.

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