March 13

March 13

First World Problems; A Matter Of Perspective

This morning, a few of us had the privilege of riding along as some of the educational amd medical supplies donated by the group were distributed. It was an eye-opening experience. First stop was the Elementary School:

You just want to wrap them up and take them home

You just want to wrap them up and take them home

They got quite excited as their teacher displayed the items

They got quite excited as their teacher displayed the items

Next was the Junior school:

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English as a second language

English as a second language

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The cafeteria

The cafeteria

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On to the High School:

The covered area in the picture below was 3 feet (1 metre) deep in sand and dirt after the hurricane:

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These kids had quite a laugh, as did their teacher, when I went to the front of the class, introduced myself in Spanish, then told them that I was going to be their teacher for the day.

This RV, donated by a Canadian, is where the Principal and his wife, also a teacher, live:

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They do have a full-time doctor here, but she is poorly paid, as evidenced by her living quarters where we left some medical supplies:

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The final stop was at the home of a local lady who deals with the church. We left some clothing with her:

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During our school visits, we found the kids clean, well-dressed and respectful. The school and classrooms are also well-maintained, but the supplies, books and equipment are basic, to say the least. In the Junior school, there is a stack of brand new unboxed Dell computers, no doubt donated by someone. Unfortunately, they have no internet access in place, and no-one to set up the computers and infrastructure. Apparently there are grants available, but the form-filling and bureaucracy involved in applying for the money is staggering, so there they sit. All I could think was “These kids deserve better.”

All of which really brings home to me the real meaning of the phrase “First World Problems”. It has reinforced for me the need to step back and be grateful for what I have in my comfortable home with clean water and sufficient electricity, while the human potential in all of these students is being compromised by a lack of resources.

Upon our return, we spent an hour or so up at the hotel restaurant with Bob, one of our caravan neighbours, having a light lunch. The wind, as it seems to do every day, began to pick up, as did the temperature, so we passed a couple of hours reading in the shade. At 4:30 there was a social hour, followed by a talk by a fellow, originally from England, who in the past few years has walked the entire coast of the Baja, among other things, and has written 4 books about his experiences. It was very interesting, since he is quite engaging (although possibly a bit mad 🙂 ). After a chili dinner put on by the staff, everyone headed back to their rigs relatively early, as we are heading out at 7:30 tomorrow for the 8-hour drive to Vicente Guerrero for 2 nights.

 

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