Saturday, April 19, 2014
This shore is just across the street from their homes. Kids come here to play in the water and watch dad do fishing stuff like mending the nets. It's 85 and sunny pretty much every day.
Down the street and around the corner, there's an elementary school. Making it through the 6th grade is a big deal, and not all make it that far.
Like all such efforts, it serves well for a percentage of the folks they hope to serve. Out on the edges are more who can't afford the fees and uniforms and supplies needed.
STeP UP Sao Tome is a local NGO, a really energetic bunch. They manage several scholarship and assistance efforts. For educational assistance, they focus on those who need a little help making their way forward; orphans, distressed families ... If you want to go and see for yourself, they'll take you in like they did for us. Want an introduction?
The country is Sao Tome & Principe, by the way. Need more incentive to go see for yourself? Nice hotels, guest houses, incredible beaches, and no crime or violence. And great food, no matter where you eat. Local folks are among the world's most gracious; if you ask politely, they'll let you take their picture. :)
(On the equator, the two-island country is much like Hawaii for climate and foliage. The rainy season isn't a bother, and the dry season is perfect for shorts and sandals. At sea level, the climate is tropical - hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27 °C (80.6 °F) and little daily variation. The temperature rarely rises beyond 32 °C (89.6 °F). At the interior's higher altitudes, the average yearly temperature is 20 °C (68 °F), and nights are generally cool. Annual rainfall varies from 5,000 mm (196.85 in) on the southwestern slopes to 1,000 mm (39.37 in) in the northern lowlands. The rainy season runs from October to May.)