The sun peeked over the horizon to welcome Earth Day 2014. The wind gently kissed the trees as if to say, “ Wake up, today is the day!” The birds tweeted our arrival on Sabol Field as we prepared the track for our fifth annual Walk for Water. The teaching table was set, the H2O for Life trifold board was up, track markers were ready and water coolers were filled. Fifty five jittery little boys waited anxiously in the classrooms to make their mark on the world with their much anticipated Walk for Water. Our goal was to raise $5,000 to build a well at Kormuse Primary School in South Sudan, Africa.
The weather forecast predicted a chance of rain. The sun obediently disappeared behind a veil of clouds.The air turned cooler. We had a contingency plan for foul weather but hoped to carry on the tradition of walking on Sabol Field.
Our kick off on World Water Day 2014 yielded a quarter of the monetary target. The second grade boys gathered over $1,200 while visiting the Upper and Lower School Divisions for a Drop in the Bucket Collection. The Haverford Community generously donated coins and bills and “well” wishes.
The Walk for Water Day had finally arrived. We had studied about water for weeks. We researched the country of our recipient school and read numerous books on life in Africa. The time had come for us to walk. The boys gathered up gallon water jugs, one in each hand, and started on a life altering journey. As we turned the corner to exit the building on our way toward the field we were met with a wonderful surprise. The third grade boys formed a gauntlet on the path to Sabol Field offering praise and support for the new batch of walkers.
We were even more determined to follow in the footsteps of those boys who had walked in years past. We entered the field to hooting and cheering and high fives abounded. The brotherhood is strong. Former walkers from years gone by lined the track. They brought donations, words of encouragement, tips for carrying the heavy water load and memories of their walk.
Our new headmaster, John Nagl, welcomed the boys and after highlighting the value of service to others he thanked them for their commitment and global leadership. The gong sounded and we were off and walking with our leader-mentors beside us. Numerous supporters laced up their sneakers and joined in on the trek: Division heads, teachers, students, staff, administrators, grandparents, parents and even the youngest toddlers walked for H2O.
Victory is sweet. In the end, we beat the rain and raised enough money to build two wells in South Sudan! Later in the day it showered… tears of joy for boys with exceptionally big hearts who do exceptionally good deeds.
“Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our deeds.” (Miguel de Cervantes)