Monday, March 07, 2011

Too Many Books?

As I was rifling through our old storage container the other day, I realized we had several boxes of books that we haven't been able to unpack in about 15 years. That's because we've either been moving from one house to another or haven't had bookcases to put them in. And then, there are those old "reads" that I'm pretty sure will never be read again anyway so no point sweating about putting them on display. It seems a shame though.

But when I stumbled across the following image on a website full of ideas on how to convert surplus old books to art forms, I realized that I not alone in my dilemma.

Sadly, the problem of too many books--or having any books at all--is far from being a reality for many around the world for whom owning a single book, and being able to read it, is pure luxury.

(Tito and his book from school. His family owns no other books.)

Classes for this year recently got underway at our mission school, but due to shortages within the state education department, we were about 600 school books short of what we needed for our students. We did get some government books, but not near enough. This shortage meant that students would have to share books and could not take them home...not the ideal way to learn!

Here, 3 girls take study notes from a shared book. If you depend on doing this for final exam preparation, you'd better copy completely and carefully!

(Above photo by Francois Rauch)

Obviously, something needed to be done and we are thankful for those who faithfully sponsor students in the program here. Student sponsorship helps provide us with not only the funds to cover regular operating expenses (teachers' salaries, children's health needs, school supplies), but it also enables us to better cope when this sort of "bump" comes along! And so, we were able to purchase books to start making up for the shortage.

While Joao was in Maputo last week, he put in the leg work required to find the books then organized for their purchase and transport to the mission.


Lots of books.
(Dwight, Joao, Matthew & Francois)

This called for celebration and the shaking of hands.

And the taking of pictures.

And more hand shaking (for the sake of posing for a photo).

When the hand shaking and posing was over, it was time to pack the books back inside the box and get them (and those delicious tomatoes) to the school. Kids were waiting afterall!

There certainly aren't too many books at the school, and likely never will be, but we're all sure thankful when everyone can at least have one. :)

(Photo credit to Francois Rauch)

In other news, we were happy to welcome Ron and Barb Wayner (of Mercy Air) back "home" last week. Once settled, and even while settling, they will be busy with aviation related projects/construction.

Rick and Bob, who are nearly 2 weeks into their time with us, have kept very busy tackling construction projects as well (training center & work shop). Despite Rick's laptop having gone astray and despite the busyness of work, Rick has been able to post a few blog updates. You can check them out at Rick's blog.

And with that, I will close.


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