I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Friday, April 13, 2012


The school principal met with us in his small cinderblock office, full of stacks of books, with charts tracking the students' progress taped to the walls, and then walked us around the grounds, where the foundations for a new building are slowly being built. The energy and enthusiasm just pours out of him; he seems completely unfazed by the enormous challenges of his job.

Like having to worry about his students being killed on the way to school in the morning. This school, like the one in Zimbabwe, is seriously overcrowded. Classes have to start at 7 in the morning to accommodate two shifts of students, and it's dangerous for children to be out walking so early when there are so many animals around. When the new school buildings are completed, he will be able to start classes later, and it will be safer for the children.

The determination to get an education is awe-inspiring; there are children who walk fourteen kilometers in both directions to come to school (and risk being eaten by crocodiles along the way). It makes me want to smack certain teenage girls of my acquaintance upside the head until they realize how privileged they are to have an education available for the taking.

(And it's disheartening to compare to the current state of affairs in the United States, where one of our greatest strengths, good public education, is now regarded as one more commodity to be privatized, one more pillar of big bad government to be undermined and abolished and starved into mediocrity.)

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