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In Their Shoes: Walking (or Riding) to School

Last year, we felt it a blessing to be able to offer transportation to some of our school kids who were walking a distance to school. One year and one new transmission later, Anna’s bus is still going strong.

Unfortunately, it is not able to make it to every neighborhood.  The kids from the nearby community of Basen Long must come on foot….or on donkey!

These kids come from a particularly poor community, and it has been touching to see their parents sacrifice and fight to give their children an education.  Several of the children are quite young–three to five years old.  We have often seen parents carrying them on their backs, at least part of the way to school, or even older children carrying the younger.

One morning, Wilferne went very early to Basen Long to catch up with the kids and take the road to school together with them.  Through his photographs, you can take a pictorial “walk in their shoes.”

They start walking around 6:00 AM.

On this particular morning, there were two mothers accompanying some of the kids.

Through the cacti and thorns…

Down ravines…

…and back out again…

…across flat spaces…

…down dusty roads…

As they went, more donkeys joined the caravan.

Space can be limited, so squeeze on!

Some of the kids take the road on foot.

It takes about 45min-1 hr of walking or riding for them to arrive at school.  After they “park” their donkeys among the thorn bushes, I (Krischelle) hear their laughing and shouting (and sometimes crying) as they come up the last little hill by my house, sometimes hurrying so that they won’t be late.

Then, after a full day of class, its home again, home again under the hot afternoon sun (although this day, it happened to be cloudy).

But they do it gladly.  They love school.  For them and their parents, education is a privilege, a chance, a hope.

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