Sunday, January 24, 2010

1/20/2010 - Hair

Okay, here's the story...
Background: all children in govt. primary schools must shave their heads and keep them shaved during the's a health/cleanlilness thing.
Story: One day last week I was talking with two 5th. or 6th. graders before M'e Mathabo arrived with the keys to the school. They asked me how the children in America wear their hair. I explained that they wear their hair many different ways...that there are styles and fads that go in an out, etc., and that most follow the styles, keeping their hair clean and neat. At the end of the day, as M'e and I sat in the office chatting, the two girls very shyly approached the doorway. M'e invited them in. They stood there and said nothing...just stared at M'e. Finally, M'e got tired of the silence and very sweetly asked if there was something they would like to say to her. Eyes down, almost drilling holes in the floor of the room, they hesitatingly Sesotho..."We don't want to have our hair shaved off." I knew, immediately, what was going on, but stayed silent and allowed M'e to handle the situation. She asked them why they didn't want their hair shaved and then very politely listened while they told of how they were going to wear their hair in many different styles, many different colors...but ALWAYS CLEAN. M'e smiled and asked if they knew why the rule had been made...bugs, dirt, etc. "Yes", they said, still insisting that keeping it in style at the hair salon (non-existent in Tabola) would take care of any health issues. "Oh, and who will pay for this hair salon work?", was M'e's next question. Needless to say, the two girls had no answer for her and so went home. I explained about my earlier conversation with the girls to M'e Mathabo and we both had a good chuckle. Moral of the story...Kids are kids anywhere...clever, creative and manipulating! Of course both of them showed up with clean shaved heads on Monday! I love teaching...I love the fact that the young mind is always exploring...always wanting more. 'night and love you all. Rusty

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