Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sometimes Sustainability Takes Its Own Form

Cale is talking on facebook chat with one of his former students. That alone is pretty awesome. However, his student got himself a job at an internet cafe in town where he has been learning a lot (on top of all he learned from Cale). That too is extremely awesome.

Last school year, Cale trained a graduating year-two student to take over as him as the computer teacher. When we left in November, it was still unclear whether or not the Methodist school board planned to hire him. Rumor has it they had requested a JICA volunteer to replace Cale, something we found upsetting. It seemed incredibly counterproductive to take a job that a Samoan was trained to do and give it to a volunteer from a development organization. That was one of the problems we saw with international aid, why pay for something when you can get it for free?

Apparently, there is no JICA volunteer, because the former student working at the internet cafe tells us that the former year-two student has been showing up to school every day to teach the computer classes, even though the board hasn't agreed to hire him and even though he isn't getting paid. He shows up every day and does his job just to do it.

It's hard to explain how this makes me feel. It's pride. I know that. I am proud of Cale and I am proud of his kids. But it is the strangest pride I have ever felt. Whatever it is, I like it.

— Sara

P.S. I forgot to mention. I saw my students PSSC scores. No 1s, but enough 2s to go around. I am pretty proud of those kids too.


Teresa said...

Nice job! That kid has got to be special if he is willing to work just for the sake of teaching!! I agree, it doesn't make much sense to train a native to do something and then just bring in a volunteer to do it for them. I thought the whole purpose of going to underdeveloped countries was to teach them skills so that they can sustain the programs the volunteers helped to set up and organize... seems a little counter productive... oh well, at least you guys did an awesome job and now there are smarter people out there because of what you did!

Barb Carusillo said...

I agree with Teresa....there is someone there in Samoa a lot more knowlegible in a worthwhile area because of you. I think what you are so proud of is this kid's sense of reponsibility. He feels the baton was passed to him, and he is going to carry it!

Patty Leal said...

Yay, Sara and Cale! You guys are awesome.

whatever said...

That kids and others will always remember you Cale.

Susanne said...

I love that story! :)