More important than the physical work our team of Japanese students can accomplish, is the example of selfless service they provide for the young children and adults in the villages.
Today in Kandara, it was most apparent. The teachers sat and read newspapers, men played cards, younger boys flirted with the Japanese girls. They had no idea to participate in building new classrooms that would benefit their own children.
A few young girls came out to help, desperately attaching themselves to the Japanese girls. They have no role models for a life other than the women they see carrying grass on their backs to tend the buffalo. One girl pleaded for her new friend to visit her home (for safety reasons, this is something that is not allowed by IVUSA tour rules).
At first, the young boys stood and watched us work just like their older brothers and fathers. To start, they had to be bribed, one bag, one photo. Then they too learned to have fun working with the Japanese.
Only the very youngest retained the innocence to join the work naturally. I have heard Amma say that a child’s character is formed at a remarkably early age. I’m glad we were there for them.