The school community is extremely happy and grateful to God for their experience of setting up the school with all the expected and unexpected episodes that make them turn to God in faith and trust as never before. The sisters don’t have a house so on their arrival a week before the opening of classes, they slept in one of the classrooms. However, when a big number of students reported, they moved very early in the morning to an unfinished room in the administration block to give the classroom for the students to stay.
The students are very happy to be near the sisters and they really express their gratitude to the sisters spontaneously and freely. The sisters try to dampen their enthusiasm by telling them that ‘Your school is still very young you still don’t have all the necessary equipment, do you still think you will continue loving your school ?’ With no second thought they reply, ‘Our school is special and it’s going to be a unique one in future.’
The labeling of the classes in St Marie Eugenie is not the usual ‘A’ and ‘B.’ The new teachers, Mr Ibamba Stephen and Mr Umbela Valence, wished to have the classes named after significant people in the Congregation. The idea behind this was to recognize their important role in the beginnings of St. Marie Eugenie’s educational vision. It is to provide a link and continuity between this concrete project and their original intuition. The sisters appreciated the idea and came up with the following names for classes : ‘Milleret’ to remember the family roots of Marie Eugenie. Then ‘D’Alzon’ to help the students appreciate the support that he was to Marie Eugenie for the service of the Kingdom. The name ‘Combalot’ was proposed for the school library in order to instill the discipline of study. A great gift has been finding a school chaplain even from this early stage in the person of Fr. Tony d’Souza, s.j. Father who is a good friend from Riruta days in Kenya couldn’t refuse when the Sisters came to ask for the Eucharist for the community and the students as the school is almost 10 kilometers away from the parish. So, Fr. Tony comes 3 times a week for the Eucharist…truly helping make Jesus the center of our school.
Life in this new setting, however, is full of challenges. On the second week, the sisters began to experience misunderstandings with the villagers. The villagers were claiming the right to a road they had arbitrarily set up that cuts right through the school compound. The sisters are working to settle the issue as having a public road passing through the school campus is not safe especially for the students.
The students are full of life. They are required to use only English in school and they also attempt a smattering of French from their newly started French class which they enjoy. They have nice stories to tell and wonderful dreams for their school. We interviewed some of them and here is what they have to say of their new school, St. Marie Eugenie :