2学期終了、…と思う間もなく、3学期が始まります!:Second term ends, and before you know it third term begins!

2学期が終わり、Lumure村から3人の支援生が図書館に姿を見せました! 凸凹荒れ泥道を片道2時間もかけて徒歩での往復です。帰路、この頃連日のように夕方起こる雷付き強風雨に出会ってしまうおそれがあるので、近況を聞くのもそこそこに、早く帰してあげないと、と、大好きなビスケットも急いで食べさせるしかありません。     
Three children from the village of Lumure who are supported by the library showed up one day after the end of the second term. It is a two-hour walk each way along a bumpy, muddy road. Recently there have been storms with strong winds, heavy rain and lightning several evenings in a row. There was a risk of them getting caught in one of those storms on their way home, so we had little time to ask what they’d been doing before sending them home. There was only enough time for them to eat their favorite biscuits. 

Ktgタウンの支援子供たちにも、大人気のビスケット! 1袋30枚弱入り4000シル(約160円)! 水と粉を練って焼いただけ、ミルクやバターなど一切入っていない非常に素朴なモノですが、時々何かの折に一人2,3枚ずつ振る舞います。これを楽しみに図書館に通ってくるらしき子もいるとかいないとか…!?!   
These biscuits are popular with the kids we support in Kitgum too! There are slightly fewer than 30 biscuits in a bag, which costs 4,000 shillings(=about160yen). They are very simple biscuits made of water and flour that has been kneaded together and baked. There is no milk or butter in them. We give two or three to a child now and then. There may be some children who come to the library just in hopes of getting biscuits.

3学期までの約3週間、別途費用を払って学校での補習に参加することを勧められますが、お金がない子は?!? そこで、図書館では、例によって通常の寺子屋を拡大充実し学習の機会を無料提供! この子たちにも時たまビスケットをふるまうので、それを目当てに来ているのかもしれません?!  
Children are advised to participate in supplemental lessons that are conducted for three weeks before the start of the third term. But students must pay extra for these lessons. So, what about the children who have no money? At those times the library expands its services to offer free extra lessons. We occasionally give these children biscuits too. Perhaps that’s why they come. 

In order to make room for other children who come to the library to read, children in the lower grades (first through fourth) study in the new library while those in the upper grades (fifth through seventh) study in the old library. Students are divided into classes of from two to six children with one teacher. The students review the errors they made on final exams in school and study with special vacation workbooks. (Each workbook covers mathematics, English, science, and social studies. At wealthy private schools each child is required to purchase one of these workbooks. Here we buy one workbook for each class and the students share it.) Unlike the supplemental lessons at schools, in which there may be anywhere from 50 to 100 students in a class, our classes are small. They are popular with the students because the lessons are easy to understand and helpful.

During her summer vacation Sally Haiselden came back for a visit for the first time in more than 10 years. (See the volunteer area.) She is now the head teacher at a primary school in her homeland of England. She talked with the children with her usual kind smile on her face. 

 One Sunday there was a long line in front of the library long before it opened. The library was full, and we had to limit admission. When one child left, another came in. Outside the door that can be seen in the background on the right, children formed a line to get in. That day we set a record for new visitors to the library (since the coronavirus pandemic).  

These two girls, the last to come to the library that day, invited each other to come with one another. They each were awarded the Prize for Bringing a New Girl.