Monday, November 21, 2011

Trent's students protest dust... no seriously.

So life in Kaya has been pretty normal as of late. I had a PSDN meeting last week and celebrated Carolyn's birthday with her and made sure the newsletter got out. I then returned to Kaya and have been teaching according to schedule pretty much. Then Today happened.

I am awakened by a call from Emma at 8 and she tells me that the kids are graving (aka: skipping school and protesting). I say ok, and try to call some professors to find out what is going on. I get a hold of one and he tells me that his wife had twins. I say; congratulations and I will come to the school in an hour. He then tells me the kids are graving because of the dust.

At first I thought he was kidding. I mean; I live near the Sahel and well; dust happens. It is right now the Hamartan and that means the dust is even worse; but how do you protest that. I arrive at my school and as I look down the road; I see that they have set up tons of little blockades using rocks or logs or other various materials and they have set some of them on fire.

I enter my school and just sit with my professors who are laughing and are just watching things happening. The students are protesting because they want a paved road to the school. I am in agreeance with them on this issue. We have one other main road that everyone uses in Kaya and it is not paved; however on this road is the Regional Hospital. It makes perfect sense to pave this road. However; apparently the way to get this done is to block the road and set it on fire. There were probably 300-500 kids (ages 7-25) protesting today. It was interesting to watch.

I don't know what finally happened; I think it was just the repo hours so it finally stopped. But it was interesting because a lot of the community seemed to be behind the kids. The kids didn't destroy anything (besides some trash) and no one got hurt. They even turned in a form that morning demanding what they wanted. All in all an interesting protest to watch. We have kids blocking a road here and burning things and no one gets pepper sprayed... Maybe a few policeman in the states should have seen this.

1 comment:

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