Monday, January 19, 2009

I love this picture...

Sam Baker and Austan Woody sent me this picture from the library in Dohoun in Burkina Faso. First of all, the intriguing shirt- what is it that is 200 years old? The slate and chalk technology for learning how to read? Second, the boy to the right is wearing a straw hat. What few people realize is that probably he made that hat himself, out of straw grown "locally"... the hats aren't always that comfortable (a little stiff) so there is no export potential there. But how many ten year olds can weave a straw hat in the U.S.? If he is reading more books and learning how to write = less time for straw hats, eventually forgets how to make them, another skill lost. Philosophical musings about our humanness thus inspired by picture. Third, where they are: in the FAVL "hangar" with the cement benches. We built it, and they came to hang out (that's *not* why it is called a "hangar" BTW). Fourth, most of the kids are barefoot. Clothes are dirty and full of holes, Toronto Mapleleafs meaningless, and to cover a wound, the boy on the right has strips of cloth around his shins/calfs. but big smiles all around. No whining here. Again... humans seem to be very adaptable. What is the meaning of life, the picture forces us to ask. And I have't even started on the post-modern deconstruction of the yellow bag in the corner.

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