Sunday, August 03, 2008

9X365 Ivan

When my family left Africa in 1987, you’d just arrived. You were a young teacher, a Ukrainian farm boy from Saskatchewan. That was the crazy part, that you were not only from Canada, like us, but the very same province.

You were idealistic. You were going to save the world. Well, that’s how you described your younger self to me when, in 2001, I once again sat at your kitchen table. All this time you stayed in the Kingdom of "Khotso, Pula, Nala”. You married a local girl. You had two kids. You laughed cynically at your original naïveté. “Those development projects never lasted,” you said, shaking your head. You’d know better than most. Over the years you’d watched every kind come and go, spearheaded by the latest generation of well intentioned but completely naive do-gooders.

And yet, all of these years later, your school is truly impressive. Eight courses including mechanics, plumbing, sustainable watershed management, solar power, masonry, and more. Students have to pay to attend and somehow they find a way. When I left, I think your Fall semester was booked up. I hope it took.

UPDATED: It's him! You Tube is so surreal:

And these ladies are walking through my old stomping grounds:

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Anonymous Mari ~ 8:09 AM

I noticed that two of the ladies are wearing jeans...when I did that, when we lived there, I was called a boy. I am glad to see things have changed...or I am sad they really thought I was a boy! I blame our parents for making me have short hair - who cares if I didn't want to brush it...or wash it! ;)  

Anonymous Anonymous ~ 9:43 AM

I know. It's really changed, I think.

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