Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Furor at School:

This Buddha sits in a place of honor at our school. A peaceful backdrop is painted on the wall behind him. But today, there was little "peace" at our school.

Yesterday afternoon, one of my favorite Naughty Boys got into BIG TROUBLE. He touched a girl's breasts and bottom. So today, as Wan Li and I headed for class, four policemen pulled up on their motorbikes. They proceeded to take over all of the classes, lecturing on the "law," explaining what's "illegal," and threatening big fines to the families of any boy caught doing something so terrible again.

Wan Li explained to me that at our rural school, many of our "kids" live in one room shacks where there is no privacy. So they are well aware of what their parents may be doing at night and think nothing of it. They also have televisions in those one room shacks and watch movies (American ones, most likely.) So they see this stuff in naughty movies and want to try it for themselves.

Werren-wit, (what the boy's name sounds like) is a very hyperactive 14 year old. He cannot sit still. He cannot keep his mouth closed. He's like a jumping bean in a seat. Despite his handicaps, he tries hard and actually knows quite a few English words. He also runs to help you carry anything and hollers "Hello!" at you from clear across the school yard. Followed by an engaging grin.

I cannot think of him as a bad kid. He's just got so many strikes against him--and now one more.

Hope this incident doesn't ruin whatever modest future he may have. (Yes, I feel sorry for the girl, too.) But this boy--whose name always brings a frown, not a smile--from teachers, needs help he will never receive. And this is heartbreaking.

After that, one of my other classes (38 students) piled into two pickup trucks and headed off to Career Day in town. Boys in one truck, girls in another. 38 students in two pickups. No one but me thought this was worthy of note.

Shoes lined up outside the classroom where a police officer is lecturing the students. (Students remove shoes. Teachers don't. Policeman didn't, either.)

The Law laying down the law.

Students cramming themselves into two trucks.

P.S. These are dried tamarinds. One of the teachers bought them on the way to school. She offered one to me but it was so sour it practically curled my hair. (They all thought this was quite funny.) She will take them home, boil them in water, add sugar, strain and give the juice to her father to drink to cure his intestinal ailments.

Just another day at school...


  1. Whoa! Hate to imagine what happens when there is a second offense. Better work on the word "respect."

    If the kids take off their shoes, why don't the teachers (and police officers) take off theirs?

    Sweltering tuna fish? Yuck!

  2. yikes! does he get to come back to school?