Saturday, May 29, 2010

Village Life, May 12

Solomon, our helper, took us to a village FAR out to interview people about their community life. First we passed this school,
and the teachers' quarters.

Here are the younger students "sweeping" the school yard.
We had visited the school the day before and had good conversations (and I taught a little to one Algebra class).

There were only 4 adults on the campus with 916 students because paychecks for the teachers had finally arrived, so the teachers all just left to go to town to get them...and the kids were just sitting there.

On to the village...
The first gentleman we met was so kind. He answered all of our questions and took us on a 9 minute walk to the village's water source.
Coming up to the boar hole
This village's drinking source
The children were dismissed early from school. Something about the teachers they sat by the path and watched us.
The man showed us another well that had been dug (that contained better water), but ever since the rope (one the villagers made themselves) that hauled the bucket up broke 5 years ago, it hasn't been used. I asked why they don't make another rope, and his response was, "That is
an issue for the head man."

All decisions made for the village have to pass through the head man, or in this case, be brought up by him.
Since the older gentleman had answered all our assigned questions about village life, when he took us to another man's house, we talked about different things. We were in the village 2 ½ hours at these two houses.
We gave both men chances to ask us questions, as well. When the second gentleman found out that people in America don't call their neighbors for a building project, that some people don't even know their neighbor's names, and that not all Americans are Christians, he was shocked, surprised, and gave a nervous laugh.

The young man was so friendly and animated, he reminded me of the small man on "The God's Must be Crazy." I loved watching him.
On the walk back to the meeting place, Solomon was surprised to learn about poverty in America. He couldn't believe there were people living under bridges or in cardboard boxes. Something he asked about (which my helper in Lusaka did, too) was the welfare system. They
have heard the government pays people if they don't have a job. It does sound (and is) pretty amazing.
These people in the village grow crops to feed their families and go to the boar hole for water. Some people may go their whole life without money passing through their hands, yet they are content and accept life just how it is.

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