Mud race, sport events, student – dorm parents tensions

The school events are chasing each other at the moment. Last Friday we had a “Mud race”. It was a fun event with a big obstacle course and lots of very wet mud. A lot of the students and even some teachers participated. The red sand blocked the drain of the showers in the boy’s dorm. Many of the runners had a list of sponsors and I think it was a great way to raise funds for the school.

The day after (Saturday) there was a swimming event, where students from several local schools competed in different swimming disciplines. The Amano students did impressively well, winning almost everything. It’s even more impressive knowing that the pool they have for training is tiny: half a lane on its long side and maybe three lanes wide.

Today (Tuesday) is International Women’s Day. The school decided to make this a holiday. It seems to be an important day throughout Zambia as there were many programs on Television about women’s education and equal opportunities programs. The official government message seemed to be a call for Zambian women to enter the natural sciences and heavy industry.

We had a nice barbequue with the dorm students. The boys were practicing football for most of the day. It was good to have this day of relaxation. Tensions had been high in the dorm recently between the students and the dorm parents. Some students have seemingly been disrespectful towards the dorm parents which they took very serious.

I have learned that showing the right respect is very important in Zambian culture, even more important than honesty. This particular situation is difficult for us two volunteers in the boy’s dorm as we are standing in the middle between the dorm parents and the students. We have to be equally careful about our behaviour towards the dorm parents and the students.

And the school events continue: A football qualification game is coming up this weekend and then next after that a week long excursion to a camp (Ndubaluba) for some of the secondary students, where they will do fun sports and a bit of survival training.