Venceslau Félix Cambulo
Theme: Common meeting
My name is Venceslau Félix Cambulo and I will explain about a compelling common meeting. We had several meetings during the trip and they were important to resolve matters between us. Our trip started on 1 June, a Friday. We left with the school bus, but only to the neighbourhood of Belém, in the outskirts of the city of Huambo, 10 km from the school. We planned to continue to Ukuma Municipality to start with investigations, but the trip kept being delayed, mainly because of repairs to the bus. The Bus Leader was walking around to sort out the issues, and we were getting more anxious each day to move forward. The following Friday, the bus was finally ready. We packed all the camping gear on the bus, ready to leave when the Leader called and explained that we would have to stay. He was sick and could not come, and we had to make camp again. It was a mess. We students decided that the bus should go after all. The other two teachers left the bus at the last moment and we went to Ukuma in the afternoon. During the trip we discussed what to do when we got to Ukuma, but we did not come up with an answer. The other two teachers decided, together with the Leader, that they should also go to Ukuma, and as they were traveling by normal transportation, they arrived before us. There the Education Bureau had prepared a school where we could stay.
We were very pleased when we met our two teachers again, and accommodation was found. The next day the two teachers did not participate in the program, and we students were left unorganized. On the Wednesday the Leader arrived, as he had now recovered, so we had a big common meeting, all teachers and students together, sitting in a circle. The meeting ran from 9 am to 11 pm at night. Some students argued that we should always keep to the plans and the plan in Belem was to get out of there quickly. Moreover, the program is about the students, at least 75% of it, and that justified why we left in the way we did. Others argued that the Leader was always going away without explaining properly what he was doing, and was leaving us to look after ourselves. The Leader and the teachers explained that the money for the following week has not yet reached the bank and we should not set off on such an important journey without money. It was true, we had almost no money. The Leader also had doubts about the state of the bus, and he explained how he was working every day when we were in Belem. In the end we students apologized for the revolt we made, and we understand that it is much better to agree properly about the program and the travel plans. We apologized because we were convinced by the teachers’ arguments, although it took a long time. During the trip, other common meetings served to resolve our issues, and now we are accustomed to finding solutions in this way.