There we are again! Becci, Constantin and I came back to the Fontein Combined School in Port Elizabeth for another week of painting and doing more things around the school.
For Becci and me it was very special to come back and see all the kids again. They didn’t know we were coming so it was a big surprise when we stood on the school yard when they arrived for classes. They crowded around us, hugged us and were so happy that we are back! For Conny it was a totally new experience as it is the first time that he visits the school.
We had a short walk around the school to see if everything we installed and did last time is still in order and we were positively surprised to see that the mural paintings are still intact, the playground looks brand new, the benches are still there and the garden turned from brown to green. But the biggest surprise was to see how tidy and clean the school yard was! No plastic bags or bottles lying around, no trash at all! The teachers organised a weekly clean up with the kids to keep the school nice and also today we saw teachers collecting some papers in plastic bags.
The garden is all green and Taryn installed a timetable so that different classes take terms in watering them three times a week. Besides that they are going to extend the fields, already added a big new one to plant pumpkins and to move some of the seedlings as they grow too close to each other. Dennis (the person who is in charge of “the health of the school”) is taking care of that. And more good news: initially there were only two teachers part of the garden-team, now seven teachers are really involved and committed and also take their students up to the garden to teach them firsthand about farming, photosynthesis, etc.
The mission of the day was to paint the outside wall of the first building that faces the entrance to the school. It used to be brown and whitish, boring colors for a school building and not very welcoming so we decided to give it a bright colorful new coat. We painted for the whole day and it turned out to be better than we expected.
The kids love it and also some of the teachers told us how nice it looks!
So all in all this was a perfect start for the week ahead – let’s hope that it’s going to continue like this!
written by Saskia Bauer