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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Wall

We went outside about two hours ago to take Bernice out to go to the bathroom. We always go to the basketball court right next to "the wall"( I will attach a picture tomorrow). When we got outside, three little heads popped up from the other side. They were the children of the staff for our compound. Jeremy went over to the wall to talk to the children. He had a small magnadoodle with him. You could see all of their hands poking out through the cinder blocks to see if they could hold it. Guy and I didn't even have to tell Jeremy to share; he passed it through the wall so the children could look at it. I have to admit, I wasn't sure if we would ever see it again. After a few minutes, a little hand passed it back through the wall. A little boy had drawn a great picture of an astronaut or a "space man" as he called it. Then, another little boy, Edward, climbed to the top of the wall and saw Bernice. He asked, "Is that a lion??" It was so funny. Some of the other children laughed at him. One little boy said ,"No, it is a dog!" It started to make me think. Here we are in Africa, and people back home think of lions and tigers. They think of savannas and jungles when they think of Africa. And, here we are with children in Africa who may not even know what a lion looks like. We are in Africa here on our compound with a cinder block wall separating us from people who are from here. When I go outside and see that wall, it makes me sad. I guess I do see reasons for it to be up, and I also see reasons for it to come down. It is hard to explain. Many people here will say that the "quarters", as they are called here, are really good for the staff. (When I say quarters, I mean one 8x10 room for a staff member and his or her family) They will say that it is better than where they could be living. I just can't help but feel like I have stepped back in time about 200 hundred years. So, I guess I could tell people it isn't that bad here, but it isn't that good either.

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