Quickly back at Bandawe

We leave really early and surprisingly we are quickly back at Bandawe. It takes us less than 2h to reach it together with our pile of things for Malita.

The lessons are already ongoing, but all the attention is immediately diverted to us. This time Malita recognizes Laura and jumps on her neck. Our visit is unexpected, the headmaster and teachers are surprised to see us arriving with the mattress and all the rest, but, as last time, welcome us warmly.

After the usual greetings, we immediately set off to organize Malita’s bed and we change her into new clothes. Suddenly Malita turns into a very sober mood again, but after some chips and milk and the discovery of ‘soap balloons’ she cheers up again. Moreover we are positively surprised by the fact the she also starts interacting with her schoolmates, who are extremely patient with her. At times she is in fact a bit harsh and does not hesitate to slap them in order to be listened.

It is time for a new lesson and so we join in the class. There are supposed to be 15 children in Malita’s class, but at the moment they are only 6. The rest could not join yet, since they did not have the money necessary for the transport to Bandawe.

The lesson is very interactive and with the very few means the teacher makes a very good job. Also Malita responds to his inputs and is called to the blackboard more than once. The teacher later on explains us that Malita, apart from being deaf and dumb, is also a slow learner, a soft way to say that she is a bit retarded too. Anyhow he thinks that once she is more familiar with the sign language things will start improving significantly. During the lesson, learning moments alternate with physical exercize. In the meanwhile Malita has familiarized again with Mauro and starts playing with him too.

We walk to the fountain for the water, where she happily shows us how to get water and washes her hands before lunch. Since we brought some for her, back in the classroom she gets some rice, she is very eager to eat.

While we watch her playing further, eat some nsima and happily dance with the schoolmates, we notice that Malita is the only one not really clean and somehow the ‘wildest’ of all the children. Everyone else seems to be very happy too. Maybe her ‘wilderness’ is also the reason why she is not properly taken care of.

The impression we get today from the school environment is totally different and much more positive than the one of our first visit. It certainly is a really poor place, but children seems to be glad and are learning. We decide to give it some time and monitor how things will evolve.

Time to go…Malita at first seems to be willing to come with us, but then she is more interested in her ‘soap balloons’ and gladly walks away with her teacher. We get off to NKhata Bay, next week Gresham will come to check again.

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