Day 461: All About Lara

by claire a. williams

In our last few weeks before a hiatus in the USA for at least a few months,
we have been working on a new project. It was a volunteer's idea, and it
involves getting thirty-some children to write the answers to a set of
specific questions, and then having them draw a picture having nothing at
all to do with the questions. Then, the kids match up their stuff with some
kids of similar age out in SF (volunteer's sister as SF teacher comes in
here) and we have a cute little thing that school parents can buy that will
give small funds to Tumaini.

Before the volunteer, Kate, a graduate student who spent 3 weeks here before
heading down to do some research on male circumcision in Swaziland left us,
we had test-drived the questions with our trusty 9 year olds. We had learned
that children here do not really know what an island is, and thus asking
them what they would take to a deserted island means nothing. We had learned
that they didn't really understand what the word "annoyed" meant. And we had
learned that when we explained what the word "annoyed" meant, they all wrote
about how having some "beat" or "abuse" them makes them annoyed. We tried to
put a ban on the use of the words "beating" and "abusing", as they mean very
different things to liberal parents in San Francisco than they do to 9 year
olds speaking Kenyan English.

Tonight, when we convened a group of said children for one more stab at the
project, we answered all the same questions again. Twice. In response to the
general confusion, Lara decided to do an example, using her own life. In a
role reversal, a 9 year old wrote the questions out for her, and Lara
responded. I am laughing.

Lara, Age 27. Interviewed by Caro, age 9.

Are you intrested in Amelica?

Yes; I am interested I America because it is where some people I love live
like my family.

Write for me threa thing that are in Amelica:

My family
Lots of tarmac roads
Cities AND many farms

Whot makes you angry?

When children do not listen to me
When meetings are not on time
When people beat each other

What do you like in island?

Photos of people I love including my family and Tumaini children
Water purifier
Lots of chocolate!!

Who would you like to be when you glow up?

I want to be a doctor, so that when you feel sick I can make you feel

Sent using the Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac Test Drive.

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