“There’s a fire” a boy points
it looks like dust
the men go to check
flames are raging
inside a small school
men and women rush
saving everything they can
“Get out before the roof falls”
fire brigade of 25 children
“pump pump pump”
children carry 20 to 30 pounds of water
I try to put a bucket on my head
my arms will have to do
brave men push brick walls inward
courageous children pump and carry water
one school is gone
I sigh with relief – “no one is hurt this day”
tomorrow a new challenge
red hot flames of destruction
tired, sooty smiles
This fire happened 3 weeks ago while we were visiting Uganda. Our aim was to teach elementary children during the day and encourage a home of orphans and staff at night.
In the United States we would stand back and watch as firefighters battled a fire. Not so with these strong people who dragged burning, hot furniture out of a raging fire. Kelly, a 3-year-old, carried bucket after bucket of water to save the school.
In stead of the 16 elementary lessons I had prepared, we spent the week teaching 70 children (4-6 year olds) on the porch of the orphanage. I was thankful for a suitcase of crafts and a butterfly puppet, I packed last-minute, who helped my husband and I teach daily lessons.