Dear one and all,
Today I am going to share with you some more pictures taken on the first distribution day.
It was a cloudy day. Most of the children came in white t-shirt. Others, I noticed, came wearing a sando or a colored shirt. They all looked so serious (or curious) like it was the first time they saw a stranger. Most of them were wearing slippers. I was told by their teacher that children are now allowed by the Department of Education to go to school even if they are not wearing uniform or shoes because not all parents could afford to buy them. I think it’s a good decision on the part of DepEd. It just isn’t right to deprive a child of his right to attend school only because he or she isn’t wearing school uniform or shoes.
I started taking pictures of them, hoping that it could solicit a smile. But it was a failed attempt. I continued taking pictures. One of the children noticed that an image registered on the LCD of my camera right after I took each shot. The child walked towards me and pointed to my camera’s LCD curiously without saying a word. I understood what she meant. I showed her the LCD and randomly displayed the images I previously took.
The girl giggled upon seeing the pictures of her classmates on the LCD. Her classmates noticed and they all ran to my side. A few seconds later, I was hearing giggles and laughter and teasing. Thanks to my camera–it was all I needed to make them loosen up. Apparently, it was the first time they saw the digital gadget. They were so amazed seeing that it can display pictures right away.
Time for distribution. Teacher Lourdes asked them to settle down. When she took out the contents of the big bag that I brought, I heard “Wooows” from the children. And then I saw their eyes lit up with excitement, a sense of excitement that I seldom see in adults like me. My heart leapt up with joy.
Here are some pictures I took as the children receive the pencils. Though I prefer pencils only, one blogger had sent out three bags which I raffled off. The children who got them were really, really happy. I wish I had taken a better picture of them receiving the bags. But something went wrong with my focus and the camera had a hard time hunting. The children also got crayons and colored pencils.
Another blogger had sent out a dozen packs of notebooks. It was supposed to be raffled off to 12 children. But when I saw how excited the children were upon seeing the notebooks, I decided to take them out of the packs and distribute.
Each child got one notebook. “Duha na akon notebook!” (I have two notebooks now!”) I overheard one child at the back. I knew it was the voice of a happy child, a proud owner of two notebooks, a new one and his old one, probably his prized possessions. But to a certain extent, I have to admit that what I heard had defeated the joy I had felt earlier on. A first grade child with only two notebooks didn’t seem a great news to me. Perhaps I was looking at the glass half-empty and the child was looking at it half-full.
Thank you so very much everyone–for the pencils, the notebooks, the sharpeners, the scissors, the bags, and the erasers, for the prayers and the well-wishes, for the trust, and for spreading the word about Pens of Hope. I feel a fuzzy warm feeling inside my heart and I want to hug you all. Thank you for joining me on this ride.
With more gratitude than I could ever hope to express,
There will be some more rounds of distribution in the months to come. There are still enough pencils to distribute until Christmas.