The next few days at Siankaba were busy and fun. Our first morning we had a delicious breakfast and took a walk through the village of Siankaba and went over to the nursery school. Siankaba is a small village comprised of mud huts, gardens and a tiny store. You don’t see many cars in the village as most people get around by foot or by bicycle. As someone said, Siankaba is “real Africa”. Most of the employees at the lodge live in Siankaba and most of the small children of the employees go to Siankaba Nursery School.
We stopped to say hi to some of the villagers and made our way to the school where all of the children were waiting for us at the entrance. This was their day off, but when they heard that visitors were coming, the majority of the students came to school…dressed in their uniforms. The kids who attend this school range in age from 3-5 and some of them walk several miles, from other villages, to go to school here. The U Foundation has worked hard to create a beautiful, safe place for these kids to get a start on their education and what the U foundation has created with the nursery school is revolutionary in this area.
We brought out a lot of Charlie’s donations…mostly sporting equipment and toys. Some of the toys were LEGOS, which the kids had never seen before, so we had to show them how to play with them. Of course, it took them less than 30 seconds to catch on.
We watched the kids play Mr. Wolf, set them up with some footballs (soccer balls) and Charlie taught them to play Cricket (and may or may not have hit a few kids with the ball. Charlie!). Owen, one of the teacher’s son, was celebrating his 4th birthday, so the lodge made a cake for him and the rest of the children.
We also got to put our handprints on the wall!
After a great afternoon at the school, we headed back to the lodge to freshen up and head for sundowners on the river. We had crossed to the mainland by mokoro earlier in the day, but this time, for whatever reason, we tried to attempt the local’s way, which is standing. This was difficult and terrifying and I’m pretty sure my Mom was trying to push me in.
Choongo, who is a Dr. at the local hospital and a friend of Jay and Sarah’s, joined us for the day at the school and for Sundowners that night. This time, we were able to pull up on Hippo Island.
This was also the night of the “Super Moon”.
A wonderful dinner followed the sundowners, some time by the fire then off to bed for another full day. The nights were pretty chilly, but every time we climbed into bed, our heating blankets were on and warmed for us. Warm cozy blankets, the river flowing below us and the fresh cool air…It was perfect.