Monday, May 08, 2006

Singin' the Blues on a Monday in Zimbabwe

Today is a Monday the first working day of a new week. For most of you that's enough bad news right there; you have to get back to the business of getting down to serious business after a couple of days repose in the throes of hedonistic bliss. In Zimbabwe many are singing the blues this morning because today is the day before schools open for the second term. Today is the most frantic day of back to school rush.

Many Zimbabwean children go away to boarding school, today is the day they leave. Cities and towns across the whole country are teeming with school children pristinely dressed in their crisply ironed polyester uniforms. Then there are those trunks; the big black metal boxes into which boarders cram their whole life. Most borders have them complete with a "tricycle padlock." For the lucky few, the student's name and home address are neatly painted in white on the top. Everywhere you look you'll see beleagured parents and students struggle to carry the heavy trunks to their next destinition until they finally get to school.

But even worse than the burden of lugging around a heavy trunk, education has become a burden and not a blessing for most Zimbabwean families. So today they are singing the blues.


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