18 October 2009

A University of Hope in Africa

I collect books and manage an internal library for my office. When my office was packed to the gills and people were still bringing books in to me, my boss gave me permission to find a library here in town to donate them to. 

My French tutor is a professor of English and Theology at one of the universities here, Hope Africa University. The school teaches in both French and English and they are in severe need of all sorts of books, but especially English-language books. The first person I turned to when I had some books to offload was, of course, my tutor. I had two Webster's dictionaries -- one of them a massive third edition -- and some reference books on Africa. He said the students would love them.

On Friday visited the university for the first time. My French tutor arranged for me to deliver the books in person to the headmaster. It was so great to see the school and meet some of the students and other teachers. The headmaster gave me a tour of the three rooms that make up the library. They have plenty of empty shelves just waiting for books. I can't help but have a soft spot for other English majors and their need for books.

There was a catch. The school is run by American Methodists and my tutor is quite religious. I had to attend chapel on Friday morning. I'm not religious but I was curious to see how the students celebrate. Chapel turned out to be a showcase for some very talented communications majors. Musicians, singers, and actors all get involved. It was an enjoyable service.

It was very inspiring to see how hard these students work. You might say I have hope for them. And I can't wait until the next time I have more books to give them.

1 comment:

Marc Neilson said...

Hi there Stephanie, thanks for your last comment on "matamboneilson". Yes, Mr. "biking bujumbura" mentioned you and his rides with your husband. I would love to meet up and help expand our Americaness in the city. Please ask "biking bujumbura" for my number and feel free to contact me anytime. I'm taking R&R soon and will return with my mountain bike woohoo!

By the way, I'm glad you noticed Methodists are more calm and not the evangelical crazies you see throughout Africa (I'm Methodist). I must check out that Uni you mentioned.

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