Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mary, Mary, Mary

>> Mary came to visit. Mary-Jean, a volunteer in Gbendembu in the Peace Corps a few decades ago, stopped on in to the village around the intramural sport competition, and it was surreal / amazing. Not only were we able to discuss the differences in the village (some things have changed, i.e. the war..) but also in the administration of this organization we both share. Many things have changed. Some have not. The desire to help those less fortunate with skilled men and women, to bridge the gap between an affluent west and a poverty-stricken developing Africa with motivated teachers, remains. Everything else is different. I'd go into detail, but I probably shouldn't. However, Mary-Jean and I share many friends in common, a generation apart, and we had some great times enjoying the limelight together (I had a party at my house on my last night before going to Freetown and there were TWO white people instead of ONE :), and I feel like I learned a lot from her. I had some doubts and she was able to dissuade or at least soothe them with some sound advice. For instance, I grew frustrated with the apparent hypocrisy here of putting priority in this athletic competition when so many students fail.. Mary-Jean helped me to understand that here, the achievement on the track is just as if not *more* important for these students, to succeed at something that they are very motivated about. I *JUST* wish that my students, who tried so hard running relays, would put the same effort into their classes.. Such is Africa. I love and miss you all :)

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