Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The Brilliant Baobab Boys
Our boys came home this week for a short break from school. One night Benedictor and Yassini solemnly brought their report cards to me, stapled shut- “to the parents of ……..”. In Tanzania all grading is quantitative and students are ranked against their classmates. I don’t care for the practice much, but I have become as curious as everyone else about the results. I opened Benedictor’s first. Third in his class of 40, wow! It was a great moment, but I quickly thought…..”mmmm….how will I handle it when Yassini is number 15 or 20?” I needn’t have worried, as he was 4th in the same class. “HONGERENI!” (Congratulations!!) I kept telling them. A few hours later I learned that Emmanuel was 2nd in his class of 54 and that’s when the tears came. How did we get so lucky to find such terrific kids to help?? Caito was just as amazed and proud as I was. It didn’t stop there- Benard was 4th among 50. We haven’t gotten results for William and Gabriel, but I am sure they did fine. When I look back at how they were living before and how they passed their primary exams in spite of so much, I am awed by their determination. Every break they ask for, and we arrange for them, extra tutoring. To those of you who have helped them, thank you so much, from all of us. Please be absolutely confident that your help is working, and bettering lives.