Here’s my answer and comments.
How were the books that you sent to Bulape found and sent? Muriel Maxwell found a school district in Sherbrook. Nancy via the internet also found a person who donated mostly library books (in French). We made two individual trips to Canada and picked them up. We took them directly to IMA World Health in New Windsor MD (Larry Sthreshley’s organization). They were containerized with other items (ours and Larry’s) and shipped to Congo. We air freighted them from Kinshasa to Kananga, and then by train and trucks up to Bulape.
Were they appropriate for the Congo? That is question. I do not think the teachers had time enough to use and incorporate them. I do not think the Congolese teachers were ready for textbooks. It required them to read, understand, and develop lessons. That is a BIG jump from teaching with book from memory or handwritten notes. Bulape had virtually no books (students or teachers). So, their initial response were “they are not African appropriate”. Then we decided to purchase some Congolese textbooks (Tshiluba and French) last year. I have not heard any responses on the Congolese textbook. I thought the Congolese books were very elementary and simple. They were more like full-size pamphlets with 30 to 40 pages. We American would say they are inferior but we can not impose our education system on them, yet. They have to crawl, then walk, then run. I believe we can get more books from Canada but we did not want to go to the expense to get them something too advanced. I think the teachers need training. We have a Congolese (Faustin) here in Indy who works for the International School of Indiana. Faustin is pursuing a doctoral degree in education at Indiana University. He has started a not-for-profit to train and certify Congolese teachers. He is going over to Congo this summer to research his program. He is from Lubumbashi but he wants to implement his program throughout Congo.
How were they distributed and stored? We did not get involved in the distribution or storage of books. We empower them to figure out the distribution and storage. We gather all (8-10) the school masters from Bulape into a meeting and tell them what we are giving them collectively and let them decide how to distribute the resources. This method is done for books, supplies, funds, and scholarships.
I emailed James about the books. He teaches for the Catholic Industrial High School. The Catholic book system appears to be more developed then the Presbyterian. I had asked Dr Mulumba repeatedly for a source of textbook. He always said they were available but he never pointed me in the right direction. Our project leader from Bulape went to the Catholic book center in Kananga. I assumed this was the source of books in Kananga.