The reality of life in the third world is that the standard of healthcare is low, very low, so low as to be almost non-existent. Seeing a doctor is an incredible rarity, seeing an eye doctor is unheard of.
While you may take these annual visits for granted, imagine if you had never gone to a doctor at all. Certainly there are home remedies for most coughs and colds, bruises and scrapes, but what about your eyes? Are wearing eye glasses or contacts now? Take them off. What do you see? Can imagine going through life like that? Can you imagine trying to get through school like that?
None of the learners at Moshaweng High School wear eye glasses. They are lucky just to be at school (South Africa only guarantees a ninth grade education). The lack of eye wear is not a testament to their visual superiority, but rather a lack of proper eye care. They have never had an eye test. Everyday I seem them squinting up at the board, shuffling their chairs closer to see. Yes, they are at school, but unless they are able to see the board it hardly does them much good.
Unite for Sight is a charitable organization that provides basic eye care to some of the world's poorest people. No, they are not coming to Loopeng, rather Neelam is going to them.
Some of you who have peeked at my Facebook page may wonder who the girl in all my photos is. It's Neelam, an aspiring eye doctor. For her senior year winter break, instead of going home to visit her family, Neelam is going to Chennai, India to work with Unite for Sight. Founded by a college student in her dorm room at Yale, Unite for Sight is not a particularly resource-rich endeavor and Neelam must pay her own way. If you are interested in donating, please follow this link: https://maestropay.com/uniteforsight/volunteers/ref/1746fdcd51dd4807b057748ad28ed58d
And now I will return to my sedulous study of vocabulary...