Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pilgrim's Progress: Nearing the End

Ouch...I just looked the Cathedral Times and realized I ought to proof my blog better. I apologize for all the errors.

Debbie and I finished the Adult Education Teachers' Conference today, the last one of the three. There were eight teachers, three from Wandi which is on the famous road to Kediba. They work without pay to provide education for adults who missed their chance during the war. Almost everything in Sudan is a Gordian knot of scarcity. The teachers from Luinje School had very good books in Math, English and Science from the Secretariat of Education of New Sudan but only for the teachers...the teachers from the other schools were using curriculum from Uganda. And probably only books for teachers. Keep in mind there are no copiers...all supplies come from Juba or Uganda. To get more books from the govenment will mean an organized effort or a word in the ear of the appropriate official from the Bishop, maybe. Transportation and communication are a challenge all the time. Scarce and expensive.

Except for conferences, it appears they work in isolation much of the time. When I think of how much I have muttered about small glitches in my daily professional life over the years, I'm embarassed. I still believe my students are the future of our country but I'm not sure they do and it's clear they don't see themselves as helping to build it. The teachers and the youth here know they are helping to heal and build their country. Here in Sudan, everything is beginning again after the war. They are recreating their institutions pretty much from the ground up with very little money and few resources. The terrifying thing is that no one knows what will happen with the upcoming elections or the referendum. There is also the potential for more internal tribal violence. So the fragile peace and the hard-earned gains of the past five or six years could go up in smoke again.

At the end of the conference today we sang Jesus Loves Me in Moru and English with lively hand gestures, almost patty cake interspersed with clapping. Imagine Episcopalians doing something so lively...Debbie and I really enjoyed it. Then one of the teachers closed with prayer. The Moru pray almost as much as they wash their hands ...which is often. It is very clear that they know that Jesus loves them. As Pentecost approaches, are we as clear about the great rushing wind that could fill our lives with such certainty?


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