Wednesday 6.10.09

So, I learned a couple of things today. I went to Madison to take pictures of a fund raising event for a group called “Results”. If you want to know more about them, click here.

One of the women involved in this is Julie Bolz. She builds schools in Afghanistan. Even with threats of death, she still continues to push forward and build more schools. In my usual “half paying attention to anything” fashion, I can mention a couple of things that stood out to me tonight. I discovered that one half of the world population lives on $2.00 or less per day. That is not much. I feel kind of guilty as I drink my 76 cent Coke and suck down a few cigarettes. At about $6.75 per pack at the moment, these things are about 33 cents each. Wow.

Anyway, she told a story about the way things are in Afghanistan. Women are forbidden to go to school, to go out of the house unless completely covered and only then with a male escort. Since a lot of these dudes are either dead or off playing soldier… many women starve to death in their homes. Windows are painted black so the women can not see out and people can not see in. Sounds like a fantastic world to live in.

One woman there took it upon herself to teach. She would smuggle books and supplies into a school in order to teach. Somehow, she was put in touch with Julie and found a place to teach. This particular small village was one where everyone knew everyone. One girl in particular showed up at the school one day and this teacher asked her what she was doing as it was known that her family forbid her to go to school. The girl said that she wanted to learn anyway and would take her chances. She was 9 or 10.

One day after some time of sneaking off to go to school to learn something, the girl did not show up. Everyone knew that the family must have discovered that she had been going to school and for that she was probably dead. Let me back up a second and also mention some of the other cool things these guys do for fun… They have a beard patrol that runs around and measures your beard. If it is not long enough, they cut off your hands. The soccer stadium is used for stoning people to death.

Turns out, the family of the girl had received a letter from some relative. No one in the family knew how to read this letter… no one knew how to read. The girl spoke up and said that she could read the letter to her father.

The enrollment at this school on the day the girl was missing was something like 400. The day after the enrollment was over 1000. Seems like this reading thing was not a bad idea.

Anyway… it was kind of motivating and thought provoking. We certainly don’t have as much to complain about over here.

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