Young ladies placed crowns of sweet scented flowers, Fo's, on our heads, and the head teacher, Fiafia, welcomed everyone. The Chief Guest, health nurse Andi, was asked to speak about the importance of the library to the school and community. Then representative students of each class from kindergarten to primary presented their speeches. I was impressed with their confidence, elocution and recall. Everyone spoke good English and emphasized the importance of reading and improving one's knowledge. Bob from s/v Bright Angel spoke on behalf of the cruisers and expressed our positive impresssions of this friendly community.
Speeches were followed by entertainment by the students. The kindergarten kids sang popular nursery rhymes, like "Ba ba black sheep" while the primary students had arranged a character parade and dances. The characters ranged from superheroes and movie stars to trees and washing machines. Each dressed up character danced down the centre aisle of the long house ( to the same tune!) and then stood to answer an appropriate question from the teacher or one of the guests. For example, Chris asked Snow White "Where are your dwarves?"
The whole village enjoyed a hearty laugh when some of the boys pranced on stage dressed up as girls. They did such a great job of portraying the opposite sex that the head of council brought up the subject of gay marriages in his closing speech!
We broke up for a lunch of curried fish, rice and hot cocoa at the council house. Then everyone attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the library. Hundreds of books have been donated by overseas visitors and organizations. One of the teachers, Lepa, will be in charge of setting up the library system on a part-time basis with the help of volunteers from the community. One of the first volunteers was Chris. He is working on a computer program to catalogue the books and set up the lending records. A job like this takes a lot of hours and he has spent the best part of two days looking for a free program which will be easy to set up and maintain.
We plan to leave Kioa for Buca Bay today as higher southeast winds are forecast for the next 3-4 days and we are open to that direction in this bay. That's if Chris ever returns from the school!
Here are some photos from the Library Day:
|The posts in the long house are assigned for the two chiefs, the council members and village elders. The rest of the villagers sit around the outside of the posts.|
|Kindergarten class holds up words and pictures|
|Lepa, one of the school teachers, peaks out to ensure everyone is in position|
|Boys and girls file into the centre to sing nursery rhymes|
|Batman dances into action!|
|Cinderella looks like an Indian actress!|
|One of the orators tells why libraries are important to the community|
|"Daniel" from the bible story|
|A traditional Tuvaluan dress|
|Britney Spears causes an uproar!|
|Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra struts on the stage|
|" Snow White" waiting for her debut|
|Bob from s/v Bright Angel speaks for the cruisers|
|One of the best posters on display|
|The prefect on the right is the artist who drew the above poster|
|Three pretty dancers|
|Suzanne with her grand-daughter|
|Guests and teachers|
|Rani and Lepa|
|Andi cuts the pink ribbon|
|Council members tour the library|
|Boys beat the drum to call the tooth-brushing hour - this is done three times per day!|
|Children form lines to go to class|
|Kindergarten class takes out their toothbrushes and water|