My Mombacho apartment is a few blocks from a neighborhood school attended by kids in uniform, carrying backpacks. They learn reading and math in the morning. In the afternoon, they assemble in the street in front of their school and little drummers begin a military cadence.
The parade practice goes well and considering children’s futures is my teacher’s hard to get rid of habit.
Some of these kids will go into professions. Some will be builders and others artists. Some will leave Nicaragua and not come back till they are old, sending money back to support their families. Some will end up in the streets, victims of poverty. Many will be mom’s and dad’s, contributors to the city and country. A minority will be criminals and drunks.
These kid’s energy level is high and enthusiasm is up.
When I hear drums, I fall in step, remembering my own school band days practicing marching at seven in the morning in a dusty dirt lot by the new Manzano High School stadium in Albuquerque in the 1960’s.
Practice makes parades perfect and these kids will represent their school well.
Education is always more than pencils, paper, and books.