Board Member Meg Clarke and her husband Bill, invaluable team members on the Mandalay portion of the Annual Schools Trip Dec 25, 2016 – Jan 11, 2017, have this delightful story to share:
“We love it! We love it. We love it!” –
chanted a classroom full of 5-year olds as Bill walked in to take their picture. Bill was so overwhelmed, he nearly forgot to capture the picture. The only other English words they knew were “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
We all know that gratitude, and expressing gratitude, creates health and happiness. Most of us could take lessons in gratitude from these 5-year olds – and from everyone in the villages whose outpouring of appreciation touched us deeply. They lined the dirt road as we approached, sometimes giving us fragrant flower-garland necklaces. Now I know how the Queen feels when she arrives in a new place.
Always, they took our hands and said “Mingalabah”, or blessings be with you.
In most of the villages in which we are building schools, the school becomes the only concrete-floored, earthquake- resistant, monsoon-proof building in the village. Villagers live in wooden huts with dirt floors, and palm-frond roofs. They have no running water and often the village shares a single well. There is no electricity. They cook outdoors over open fires and eat squatting; no tables or chairs.
So imagine how the children feel, in a dry secure building, sitting at desks, having clean toilets. No wonder they “love it!”