Slice of Life Challenge #Day 31
A month ago I would not have believed that my final March slice of 2020 would contain the news that we are opening a food bank for families of our students. I have spent most of the day trying to work out the logistics of sourcing basic food necessities like rice, dahl (pulses), sugar, oil, potatoes, onions, soap and tea to make up a mini food bank so needy parents can come by and pick up some rations tomorrow. We trust supplies continue to come through so we can keep topping up essential items.
We hope the poorest parents can come, but even that remains uncertain this evening, because nothing has been made clear. There is another loudspeaker announcement in progress right now, but alas, I don’t speak the language. A friend will let us know if it’s important.
Life is not very coordinated here at present. If you go out early in the morning, it’s usually okay and a very few shops in the market or along the main street are open for a few hours, different ones each day. Today some fresh vegetable supplies came through and I bought vegetables, more than enough, but the concern always is, when will more get through?
So many have no savings and live day to day and now each day brings no wages because all day labourers have lost their jobs because of the lockdown. Fortunately some friends of our recent frisbee playing cycling guests donated money to the school. Now some of that can go towards feeding the students’ families.
The police were out in force today, as some people thought it was going to be a market day (this usually happens twice a week). Some then foolishly refused to disperse and a few suffered the consequences. Fortunately police at the moment are armed only with lathis (a kind of long stick). This is a microcosm of the chaos and misery that is happening throughout the rest of the country particularly around major cities.
I was told by a policeman today that, as a foreigner, I was the reason he was out there patrolling the streets to protect local people. It was not a pleasant encounter.
Ruby checking if there is anything edible for her in all this stock. She drew a blank.
To end on a positive note, one of our teachers has just told me that the students he contacted today by phone (as part of our staying in touch strategy) were both thrilled and excited that someone was ringing up and chatting to them. I think it’s probably the first personal phone call they have ever had.