Since Internet access is so random and I never know when I might be able to post something, I’ve decided to head the posts with the day on which they were written. That way if I end up posting three in one day the correct order will be obvious.
Having been to Paraguay in 2006 I thought I had a pretty good idea of what a 3rd world country was like. I was wrong. Overall it definitely seems much poorer here than there. There is also still a very heavy tribal influence, though Joseph says that is slowly changing. For example, today I saw several young women with distinctive scarring on their faces, and Joseph said that it marks them as a member of a particular tribe.
We toured the school he founded today. The kids are pretty packed in the rooms he has available, but apparently nothing like the average size of the public school classes, which will make my daughter and daughter-in-law cringe – 150 kids in a class! The children all were very polite, respectful and well-behaved. They have pre-school, elementary, middle and high school students who are taught a wide variety of subjects, including English. It is impressive how much Joseph has done with so little, but he has a vision for all of it that he is intent on pursuing.
On the same block is Joseph’s house, and I got to listen to him telling Jim the story of being confronted by angry Muslims with machetes in the very spot it happened. The mosque of the most radical of all the Muslim sects in Ouagadougou is located right across from the school. Because of his accomplishments they respect him and leave him alone, but he said you do not want to play with them because it would be like jumping in a fire.
Tomorrow we are heading out to visit the chief who gave Joseph the land for the church and spend some time walking it. It is also the day when we will visit the crocodiles!