Thursday, July 22, 2010

a week to go...

it was hard getting online - my appologies to anyone that waited.
the internet cafe has been having problem with their provider.
for a month.
bob said - "you are here to practice patience,"
he was right. i have been practicing it.
but i don't think i have gotten good at it.
i think practicing patience had made me become more eager.
the truth is - i am missing new york.
i made a mistake, or a few on this trip, this time around.
one of them was not to have budgeted for my drumming lessons.
big mistake. big. huge.
also - the laptops I have brought created a sense of competition and greed among them. all of a sudden, they are fighting over who will own them.
all opf you, i keep telling them.
it is for the school. for the community. for all of you to share.
they now want their own.
even though they don't even know how to use them.
they think they want it. they think they will become sothign if they own a material thing. a tool.
it is not the "goal", it is "means".
but we are a long way of understanding this around here.
and it is hardly my place to teach them that. I mean, I am trying, but perhaps that's where I've been wrong.
who am i?
a white lady with laptops?
strangers come to me in the dirt raods, saying, please, i need some money.
my collegue teacher, says to me the other day - oh, i am so sad, i have no money.
that sucks - i told her.
btw, it is the same one who didn't show up to work the last week, on the final day before the final exam of her students (the very exam that for some will determine whether the kid would score high enough to continue with the school or not, so she didn't come to work because she wanted to go to benin for fun, but in the end she didn't even go there, just took a fucking day off, to sit at home. now she asks me for money. yeah, right. what is she teaching????
the headmaster (btw, everyone calls him "master"!!!) doea NOTHING all day but sits on his chair with one leg up on another chair's arm rest, which is a discussting image, btw, and "calls" for students to do thinks for him.
get him food.
charge his phone.
and all he's been telling me all month is - madam milika, we need more dollars. more american dollars...
so do i my friend. so do i.

i am preparing a show with the kids and this gives me pleasure.
so does working with students - they will learn things form me that will improve their lives if so they choose.
and so does playing with the children in the village in the afternoon. and talking to a few adults that i consider friends.
but what i learned this time around about the majority of mostly the adult ones is not happy news.
more details when i get back.
there have been some priceless moments, of course.
and the successes of G2G mission is indubitable.

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