Alpha Radiation

Just got back from another successful school visit. Tonight we talked economics with the students in the class and nothing too revealing was said until one student told me that Djiboutians (and other non-Americans) will never be able to achieve success and do something new and creative because they lack the confidence. He told me if he tried to do something great, everyone would ask him, "who do you think you are?" And for this reason they will remain poor. The economy here is really bad. Khat, the legal drug here, is ubiquitous and people (mostlly men) spend all their money on it and then do nothing all day besides get high. There are also no natural resources and everything is imported. Which means that even though the country is dead broke, everything is really expensive. We went out for Indian food the other night and everyone's tab was over 20 dollars for a regular meal. It's amazing how that can be in a place where people don't have shoes or roofs.

Going to the school was really cool because we got to walk around in a sort of "shanty-town" area and I even went in a make-shift shop. Unfortunately you can't really take pictures at night without causing a raucus, so you'll have to use your imagination. I got some at the school though! Here's a picture of the chalkboard, leading up to the totally open roof. This seems to be a common style for houses. Most stuff looks like they just slapped it together with old sheets of metal.

Much like the other place we visited, the classroom consisted of simple wooden benches. I noticed none of the students had paper or pens…

Overall, it's an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am excited because I am going again tomorrow night! More learnings for me!!! My mom asked why I was doing this and going to the Orphanage, and I'm just volunteering to do it in my free time. They trips are already planned, so they make it very easy, except that the school trips are a little exclusive. I've been on the waiting list for two weeks and I only got my slot tonight as a "standby."

Making the cut as a standby always makes things so much more exciting. Especially when you find out the name of the school is "Alpha Radiation," whatever the heck that means. I just love spending time with the kids and learning more about their lives. Can't wait for tomorrow!

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