Back at Simakakata today, and the funny thing is that my brain is can no longer comprehend the incredible poverty here. Despite everything, the lack of food, of water, of teaching materials, of clothes for the kids, of shoes… it all seems so normal. Just another primary school. Now with added day nursery.
Even though my eyes are getting used to the darkness, the glass-less windows, the peeling paint and the broken furniture, the posters around the classroom walls still shock. The kinds of information printed up alongside everyday teaching sheets makes sex education in the UK look like we’re still in the nineteenth century. We should be glad we are.
Tomorrow is our last day at Simakakata, and I will cry when we leave. On Wednesday we’re going to document a school that’s even poorer. Tomorrow Sonia’s story is going to be posted at LearnAsOne. Anyone who’s ever felt vaguely dissatisfied with their lot should read it.