Day 7 — A Community That Thrives and Prospers

I took a break from IT work today, instead meeting with friends around town. Sheila Case took me over to Jenny and Daniel’s new quilting shop today, I saw the MaP Marimba band play at one of Gaborone’s new malls, and Andy took me out to lunch at Sanitas with Alan Wilson, Jeremy and Helen Long. Tonight is the grand finale of the Maitisong Festival with Sibongile Khumalo headlining a classical program of Negro spirituals and Mozart Symphony 40.

marimba band

Case family

Here is a classroom shot from earlier this week. The MaP campus is a collection of mostly small buildings with lots of space between. This is beautiful but partially explains why the school has not yet wired half the campus.

Classroom

While not working on IT today, I reflected on the ease with which I have reintegrated into this community after an absence of 10 years. Though many of the personnel have changed, the place feels very much the same. How can that be?

“What I’m proudest about is that sense of a community, an outpouring of a community that thrives and prospers. It’s not just a seat of learning; it’s something far greater than that.”

– Deane Yates, Founding Headmaster of Maru-a-Pula

The members of this community share a set of values that they transmit to new arrivals every year. The feeling of the place stays the same despite all of the changes in personnel. Old timers who return find that the warmth, modesty, justice, and intensity very familiar indeed. Everyone belongs in this place and is welcomed back upon return. This aspect of the school is one of its greatest strengths, allowing it to grow exuberantly during good times and remain resilient during the bad.

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