The room is no bigger than a bedroom, brightly lit by one wall of windows. The wall is slightly curved to allow a full view of Lake Malawi and even further of to the east Mozambique (on a clear day). The first thing one would notice after the windows in this oddly shaped room, is the floor to ceiling book shelves that make up the majority of the rest of the wall space. It would be all of the wall space except for the large desk and overstuffed wingback chair that is covered in a rich dark purple velvet. The dark wood feet are set like claws, but not as a bird, like a large cat. The back rest crowned with bold lines and subtle carvings of lions, this is where I sit. The floor in this room is not concrete. The floor is adorned with an extra thick and very colourful rug. There are a few padded stools and large pillows but you can’t see them under the mass of children crowded on top of them. They burst out into laughter at the accents and faces I make as I read one of the books from the latest box of donations. The Narnia series, God bless the person who sent it! My shelves are almost full now of children’s books, Christian fiction and non-fiction, bibles for anyone who asks for one, how to books, and various titles most highly recommended. This library/ study is also host to a 1 hour children’s book reading group every weekday morning at 8am. Even some mothers come for the young children’s group on Wednesdays. I read slowly and there are photos so it helps with their English as well.
The last thing you notice is the sweet smell. The room is fragrant with the blooms from the prayer garden to the side of the house. The breeze from the lake always carries the sweet smells into this magical room where children get to escape from their hard lives to places like Narnia, Hogwarts, and where the red ferns grow.
Some how having the sweet smells, the visual of all the books stories yet told, and the far of sound of crashing waves becomes the perfect spell to inspire creativity and a dream. Something few here in this third world life have ever had before.