ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL
In certain countries, in particular in Africa and Asia, life is not easy for children who wish to learn: they have to walk kilometres everyday to reach their school,
and sometimes they face a number of dangers on the way. But it is not only children who have to go long distances before arriving at the school; teachers often face the same problem, too.
When I travelled to Ethiopia, I had the opportunity of meeting one of those teachers in a village a few miles from Lalibela. It was a Saturday, and we took him back home.
He told me that by good weather he had to walk at least four hours through the fields from the bus stop to the village every Monday.
With bad weather, it would take him about six hours. The same would happen on the way back home on Saturday. During the week, of course, he would live in the village.
In Ethiopia, as in most African countries, life is still more difficult for girls than for boys, since girls have everyday tasks that boys donít, like to get water for the household,
very often to miles away. Only after these daily tasks will girls be free for taking the way to school, which means they will attend school for shorter periods than boys.
Either a boy or a girl, anyway, Ethiopian children have in general a nice smile in their faces, and their bright eyes shine with happiness.
They donít live in a consumer society, and anything you offer them will make them happy. What we would consider ďadversities of lifeĒ in our Western world has a different meaning to them.
This might seem a paradox to us, but is it really? Most probably not.
© Dulce Rodrigues