MAY '08 the tour guide

May 31, 2008
Sao Tome & Principe

With a weekend day free, I employed Elisio as a tour guide. I didn't really need a guide, but he is earnestly trying to get an education and to find work.  He was good company.  On this trip, we picked up some boys walking home carrying firewood; big bundles that looked too big to carry.

Back in Africa again in NOV 08, Elisio heard I was in country and tracked me down.  He tells me his evening school classes have been canceled.  Overcrowding forces multiple sessions, early to late, to provide all the students a seat in class. A teacher may cover two or three sessions a day. As of the date of this article, the teachers aren't paid reliably by the government. In an informal meeting with IMF representatives, they confirmed the story. The budget process doesn't yet adequately address pay for teachers in the public schools. The children have a difficult struggle ahead.