Friday, August 24, 2007

Teen Talk

Aaron Kohn is not your average teenager. You wouldn’t know it right away, but the world map in Aaron’s brain doesn’t contain the same boundaries that a lot of people take for granted. At 16 he traveled all over the world and has already directed, created and edited his own documentary about San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert (check out Aaron’s work seeks to show that beneath all sorts of difference in musical tastes, income levels, education and skin color, etc. we are all more alike than we are different.

On his way to check out a school in Botswana that he may attend, Aaron decided to pay us a visit. He is creating a radio program and wanted to interview our boys about their experiences on the street, and hear what their aspirations were for the future. The boys were more than happy to share their stories and get their turn at the mic. For some it was a rare chance for emotional catharsis. Although the luxury of planning for the future is a bit new to them, the guys are getting used the idea and talking with Aaron facilitated that.

One day during Aaron’s visit we all took a trip to Kiwangwa Secondary school where one of our former street boys Yassini studies. It’s a bit of a haul on a very bumpy road. First we stopped to meet with some of the Wamangati, a tribe of nomadic pastoralists. They have a settlement just outside Bagamoyo. Unfortunately, most were at the cattle market, but we had a nice morning in a pretty grove of trees.

Off to Kiwanga School, situated in a town known for its pineapples. Yassini was so glad to see us! William, Benedictor and Emmanuel were happy to get a chance to see old friends. The school was in the midst of building 100 bunk beds. For the past few years students have been sleeping on the floor but now the beds are almost ready. On our tour of the dorms we found a girl with severe malaria so we took her back to Bagamoyo for treatment.

En route back to Bagamoyo the van popped a tire. No one seemed to mind though. The guys got out and made up the Baobab Home rap and Aaron got it all recorded. Thank you Aaron and family! Karibuni Tena.

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