My walks with Mango around our neighborhood give me a chance to see where most of my students live. Our house is in a really nice part of town, right across from the school and next door to the Pulperia and a Tilapia restaurant. Our street is paved, our lawn is groomed and life is good. Walking 5 minutes around the corner though brings you right into the heart of Zeta Trece, which is the reality for the majority of our students: Poverty. There are broken down cars left on the side of the road, stray mean dogs who chase me and an Mango and bark at us, babies wandering around dirty and barefoot without clothes or supervision.
This is of course true living anywhere, there are nicer parts of town and more run down and/or dangerous areas. At home I try to avoid the latter as much as possible, but here I don’t because to really understand my students I need to see where they are coming from:
It’s pretty tough stuff, but I feel that it’s necessary for me as a teacher, and a dog owner because if I didn’t walk through the bad parts of town it would limit me and Mango to 5 minute walks and he has waaay to much energy for that.
Some pictures from out walk today:
Tired after a hot walk:
Seriously, how cute is this guy?