Still a few more stories from Tanzania up my sleeve so making the most of a bit of wifi in the evenings :)..more like night..
There were two girls Mariam and Husna in Form 1 which is like grade 9 who were blind. I actually didn’t know about it till maybe a month in and was told by someone and so I went to scout it out. I felt kind of awkward just going to see them and I didn’t know them. And as I was about to enter the dorm I kind of sat on the steps because I felt a little overwhelmed just going in like that. And while I sat for like 5 minutes I saw a girl walk past me with a guiding stick held out and there it was – our paths crossed and so I went up and kind of followed her into the dorms not exactly sure what to say to her – Hi , I’m Saara…you don’t know me but..it didn’t make much sense so I followed her in and realized she was in the same room as Muna – one of the other kids I knew and so I went into their room and then I went to Mariam and told her I wanted to write a story about her – and this was for the school not for the blog 🙂 ..
I spoke to both her and Husna. Mariam had always been blind but Husna had sight and then when she was given some medication for malaria – slowly lost her eyesight. It’s devastating but they don’t see it like that at all. They are both so upbeat and happy and jolly.They’re actually in the top 15 of their class. How do 2 girls make it work at a disadvantaged school already? So apparently during class they just listen to the teacher and then after school at night one of their friends reads all of their notes back to them which they type up on their braille machine and then after everyone goes to sleep they can still study in the dark – cause they just need to feel their way through it .
Firstly, i found this amazing – that they did all this and ended up at the top of their class despite being blind but also the fact that a friend sits with them everyday and dictates all of her notes to them so that they can study. Later as I sat in the dorms with the girls Sabrina told me – ” You know Fadhya is such a good friend.” Now let me tell you about Fadhya – she seems like the most lazy girl ever. I actually met her when she told me she wanted to play sports and then I asked her if she needed help with any school work ( because it was prep and 9 o’clock at night) and she said she did and so I helped her. She sits at the back of the class and always laughs at me shyly when I ask her how school is . She’s confident and fun. So I asked Sabrina why she said that and she told me that Fadhya washes both of these girls clothes and irons them and is the one who dictates all the notes to these girls. Up till that point Fadhya was just like everyone else but at that moment my respect for her went sky high. What a friend man! Already these kids had no time between homework , studying, prayers, washing and ironing their own clothes and this kid had the time to do it for two other people! Ah – Friendship – how beautiful it is ..
Makes me think of my own friends who I wish were on this trip with me. I guess this is my attempt to bring them along with me. My friend who’s subscribed to my blog once told me pictures from the blog weren’t coming to his email and I was like ” what? You guys are my biggest supporters!” And he replied ” um…we’re not your supporters Saara, we’re your friends” 🙂
I’m glad you guys are “here.” I’m lucky with the growth of communication I even get good morning messages from all over the world. Dubai wakes up a couple of hours before me , the Philippines wakes up when I go to sleep, South Africa around my time and Canada – a bit past noon 🙂 I guess friendship is truly timeless!