Thursday, August 11, 2011

Monday: Graduation and a Booty Dance

About a dozen preteens stood straight in their caps and gowns as they walked, one by one, to receive their graduation presents. Each U.S. visitor took turns to give the pencil sets, shake the students’ hands and pose for a commemorative photo. It was similar to my children’s primary (grade) school graduations except for one thing. Okay, many things. My children weren’t surrounded by mud huts in the middle of Nigeria at a village where the children couldn’t speak a word of English just three short years ago. And we definitely didn’t do what I call “the booty dance.”

In 2008, I traveled to Faith Alive with team leader Russ McCahan. Russ and his Nigerian friend Amos took us to the Hwol Yarje village outside Jos where malnourished Hausa-speaking children dressed in torn, ill-fitting clothing. Many villagers didn’t make the trek down the long dirt road, past the corn fields and the garbage dump to the main street. And they definitely didn’t have the money to get an education. Thanks to the efforts of Russ and Faith Alive, a basic school onsite now provides instruction and inspiration.

(Photo: Woman giving gift is Winnie Nnakwe, Nigerian from America who learned about Faith Alive at the ANPA conference six weeks ago in Chicago.)

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