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posted Feb 15, 2011, 7:54 PM by Ethan Shirley
It is fairly easy to get me riled up and ready to fight for this school.  Today I went to Porto Jofre on a boat tour with a couple from England and we visited with the local kids there for a while.  There were fifteen at least, seven or eight playing soccer while others watched on.  Eduardo said as we were driving back, just before a jaguar jumped out in front of us on the road: "This school is really going to change things for those families, make it a lot better."

As for me, I prefer to get my justification by asking the kids myself: 
"How old are you?"
"Have you gone to school before?"
"In Pocone?"
"Would you like to go to school here in the Pantanal?"
She cracks a shy smile.
"And live here with your parents?"
The smile grows a little.
"Of course."

Still other children haven't been so lucky to live with relatives and attend school in Pocone, the nearest town.  I talked in the morning with a couple fisherman who want to be boat drivers and guides for tourists.  They want to learn English.  But first they have to learn to read and write, as they themselves (around 30 years old) have never been to school in their lives.