Monday, August 23, 2010

Our daily bread

Holy Busy Batman! My apologies again for a lack of posts. Since school has started I have been busier than ever working on classes, getting kids to use the new school library, library workshop things, writing a program with a PCV friend to help schools do grades, and finally diversity camp!

Diversity camp took me to the mountains of Lesotho to the district of Mokhotlong. The camp was for 24 (though only 20 made it) high school students. The purpose of the camp was to introduce the kids to different kinds of diversity and how to accept or at least tolerate those around them who are different. There were several speakers from people of different races to people of different beliefs to people of different sexual orientation. A lot of the kids had never met an atheist or homosexual in the past. I think it was quite eye opening for them. The goal of the camp is to have the kids be ambassadors to their schools and communities. I really hope they bring the messages back. If not, at least they got a weekend with great food, running water, and electricity.

So the camp was funded from a source that addresses HIV and AIDS relief. This includes education. Because of this, much of the camp was focused on HIV. When introducing HIV, one PCV asked the kids, "Does HIV have a cure?" One student raised his hand and told a story. There was a man who tested positive in a single test. This man then went to the church where he prayed. He got tested again and was found negative. The church claimed credit and can cure HIV apparently. When asked if HIV can be cured through prayer, half of the kids thought it could be. My jaw hit the floor. I was both sad and angry. I am still both sad and angry. HIV is such a big problem here and people are not educated about it. Not even not educated but told wrong information. The kids did not even consider the possibility that the first test may have been a mistake. Grr.

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