Children of the fort

Brother and sister

Young ones wandering at Agra Fort. Maybe looking for tourists to harangue. Or to be harangued by tourists (read: me).

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Graduation day

Rite of passage: Finishing elementary school

Arutam’s school caters to a handful of village children, staffed both by Domingo Vargas, one of the older Shuar brothers, as well as volunteers. At the end of the semester, the school celebrated a graduation of sorts before a holiday. Parents and children attended, and Domingo read aloud the accomplishments of each child.

Edgar, above, who will next year attend the government school, was cause for particular celebration. Education levels are abysmal in parts of rural Ecuador, like much of the rest of the developing world. His graduation and chance at higher education is a big deal. Such an accomplishment has replaced old Shuar rights of passage, and it is a happy occasion worthy of donning traditional clothing.

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Pondicherry kids look into the camera

Down by the jetty. And I didn’t have to pay them.

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Tibetan eyes

Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, Darjeeling

We visited the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre in the Darjeeling hills. At the time, it was a rather dour compound. Adults eyed us — seven foreigners pulling up in a van — with reserve. We spent most of our time in the gift shop that sells traditional handicrafts at fixed, good prices.

Outside, these two little ones made up for the quiet with their laughter.

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Kids in the night

All the wanted was candy

They just wanted candy

The train from Kisumu cuts through beautiful Kenyan bush as the sun sets over a low but sharply rising line of mountains. I was in the second-class sleeper cabin, but the third class cars are filled with Kenyans, many of whom get down at small villages in the dead of night.

At each stop, motorbikes line up like taxis at the airport hoping to ferry passengers and all manner of goods off into the night.

And kids run along side the upper class cars shouting “Sweets!” at the rich people. The four German women in the compartment next to mine were happy to oblige.

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