Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bare feet and blistered hands

Last Monday the kids of GSF were divided up into two groups, girls and boys, to work on slashing (cutting the grass) and digging. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the girls dig while the boys slash. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays they switch. I've been doing it with them and it's really given me a bigger picture of their world. Some days we don't eat breakfast until after we're finished. Most of the girls come in old, dirty clothes, or even their pajamas. We take off our shoes while we dig and slashing can give you blisters. Most of them work very hard and try to find something I'm doing wrong. The girls think that Mzungus don't work as much and some of them think we don't work at all. So, to them it's just like I'm crushing all their dreams that if they go to America they won't have to work. Now, they're starting to accept that I work with them everyday. Their not looking so hard for something I'm doing wrong and when they find something they show me how I can change it.

They don't have more chores than American children, they just have harder chores. Watching little Sophia insist that she slashed with us instead of picking up trash with the rest of the girls her age and three year old Lauren pick up her hat and go and get the soap out of the pantry and wash her hat so well broke my heart. But then, I had to stop and think, 'it's not bad, at least not to them. That's their life. It's the only way they know.'

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