In country for a couple of weeks work, I made time at the end of the day to visit friends. Just a few minutes from my work site, this is the first family I met here back in '07. Poppa shows me the site for his daughter and son-in-law's new house. My Portuguese remains inadequate, but I think he said they were just married this year.
It will be a simple home, perhaps 300 sq ft. Water is available less than 10 minutes away. Having family nearby is a big deal, of course. In the collage left, the young couple carries wood from the sawmill for the project.
On the right, Poppa's youngest and my first friend in Africa (and our fourth grade scholar) enjoys summer vacation. School starts in October here. She's been making good grades all along and actually enjoys school.
We're tied to five families here now with twelve or so of their children in school. This last school year went well and all of our kids passed on to the next grade. Our oldest boy passed the critical sixth grade standard achievement test, which is quite a big deal. It means he gets to go on the the 7th grade. The test has about a 70% failure rate marking the end of education for most. The next big hurdle is at the end of the 9th grade. Only a few children go on to finish high school.
Aug 26, 2010
With photos from our time together a few months ago (photo, right) and some books from Lisbon, my friends here are part of a large family of fine folks. Grandma adopted me awhile back and the rest of the family has made a place for me. Books in Portuguese are an appreciated gift; there's no outlet in the country where they can buy new books and the libraries are minimally helpful. Most manufactured goods come by plane or ship to this isolated country.