Godogodo, our final destination, was the last of the rural schools, the fifth location. We traveled another 30 minutes in a different direction- but arrived at the site. We came upon two classroom blocks and a third building consisting of a sheet metal roof with chicken wire and sheet metal sides.
All three buildings are full. While this was by far the best of the three rural schools, the buildings date from the late 1940’s, built by missionaries. There are renovations needed to the roofs and walls; in many places, the concrete was cracked or crumbling. The sheet metal on the roof was rusting and needed replacement. The classroom building made of sheet metal and chicken wire needed to be properly completed, as the heat inside was stifling and it was quite a bit smaller than the other two classroom blocks. So much needed- it was overwhelming!
The three rural locations had other commonalities regarding their infrastructure that greatly contributed to the needs list. None of the sites had walls around the existing buildings. There were no bathroom facilities...and no wells for water. There was no source for electricity, so any form of technology was nonexistent. Instructional aides for teachers to use were few...and far down the list of priorities. I could not imagine working or learning under those conditions. Yet school buildings were full of children, with dedicated teachers doing their best with what they had.
After this last stop, we headed back to the bishop’s compound for a meal and discussion. We talked about the needs and worked on a list of priorities.
I had a lengthy discussion with Nana Dogo, Bishop Markus’s wife, about her vision and priorities for the schools. It was a heartfelt talk that I will never forget.
I pledged to send over barrels of supplies on behalf of AEP as soon as I returned as an initial gesture of hope.