The children wanted to show me the school in Kazat, a Burmese village of less than 200 where one truck a year is built in the local factory. I followed the stream of students through the field and up the path where a building of faded colors seemed to sit patiently as children ran across the dirt yard and gathered water from a well.
Earlier in the morning, I heard children reciting with rapid speed and followed their voices until I found them sitting at makeshift desks. This trip, I brought along an audio recorder to capture the sounds of the villages so I demonstrated the technology. The parents smiled and invited me inside. The baby laughed. The father and mother motioned for their neighbors to watch the show.
Soon, a small crowd peered from the doorway and clustered in the yard to hear the replay of voices and see the photographs in the digital screen. I followed them to the school where a girl led me to a classroom and handed me chalk. We gained a few new words, sang songs and learned by heart an important life lesson: Kindness creates a world of difference.
I love the learning curve when you meet children without the benefit of a translator. It’s amazing how quick and eagerly they catch on. A future post will feature some of their voices, but here’s a teaser: (Warning: I’m singing, kid-wrangling and filming at the same time so things get a little shaky. Keep your eye on the girl in red who stood her ground.)