I got the chance to speak with teachers in a number of schools, and it was inspiring to see how dedicated they were in the face of extremely challenging teaching conditions, including an almost total lack of supplies -- paper and pencils were about it for most, and books were sparse; overcrowded classrooms with as many as 60 students and no support staff; poverty and a dearth of food for a large majority of their kids. For many students the walk to school took more than an hour each way and was often done on empty stomachs. They would be fed when they got to school, then at the end of the day. No lunch or snack was available, and for many of the kids, these were their only meals. It's hard to imagine. Yet, there was an energy of hope and warmth, even at the orphanage we visited. The photos below, all taken in South African schools or at "Mama Mary's" orphanage, clearly reflect this.
|A Pre-K classroom. The smile on the teacher's face was typical of so many people we met there.|
|1000 plus children, perfectly still for morning prayers.|
|Preening for the camera|
|Precious little girls I met at the orphanage.|
Click here to learn more about the Peace Train, the organization that sponsored this trip.
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