Vanuatu, little island Atchin. Few people there have solar panels, and those panels make it possible to load… a mobile phone. This is the only connection with other parts of the country or the world. People, who have never seen a TV – have never seen more than what is surrounding them: little islands, bush, boats and not paved roads.
– How to you get to work? – they asked us. – By bike, or by metro – And what is metro? – Such a train… – And what is a train? – Yyyy. How to describe the train to someone, who have seen only few cars and only sandy roads in his life?
Or a bath tube! – I dream about taking a bath in a warm bath tube! – I said once. – And what is bath tube? – Is it so sunny in your house that the water gets warm??
And just imagine Tom talking with the guys on the islands: – So what do you do in life? – they asked him. – Internet websites. – What?!? – Websites, in the internet. – What? In what? … Tia…
When it was raining the second day in the row, Hanna asked if they can watch „Peppa Pig“ on our tablet. This question doesn’t come often, so of course we agreed. Our tablet was a present from Lenovo in Germany, we took it with us as a second option (when Tom is editing pictures on his laptop in the evening, I could write a draft of the post on the tablet). At the end we almost didn’t use it – moving the files from tablet, to the laptop, to put them online took ages. Anyways, „Peppa Pig“ could been watched! And the battery is really strong. So our girls, together with a little crowd of the local kids, spend some time watching English cartoons. About the queen, about the bath tube, about the train. Little dark eyes were getting bigger and bigger.
I have already told you how it is in Vanuatu with the gifts. From the morning until the evening, each of the neighbours were coming with oranges, nuts, mats, clothes, bags, and different kinds of gifts. Our girls were changing their clothes with little Ni-Vanuatu girls, giving away their tiny toys, hair brushes and gifts, they got in Fiji. They are like we are: things matter less than actions.
And on the very last day at the Atchin island, while packing, Hanna asked THE question: – So what we gonna give them as a goodbye present? // Shiiiit, we don’t have any unnecessary gram in the backpack: tent, shoes, medicines, camera? Nothing to be left. – And what do you think makes our new friends the most happy, Hanna? – „Peppa Pig“ of course! – she was more than sure.
Hmmmm. Big big hmmm happened afterwards. Not that it’s a problem for us to get rid of a tablet. It’s useful but we can live without it. And we can easily get one after coming back home, if needed. But… does it make any sense? Tom was against: doesn’t help, doesn’t change anything. – But they like watching cartoons, like all the kids – Hanna said. – I also like „Peppa Pig“! – Mila was a bit sad.
We gave them the tablet. We gave it to the kindergarten, we spend the most time in, to the ladies, who are in close touch with the school teacher. The school teacher has solar panels and energy for activism. We talked with some American foundation on another island, to come to Atchin with more educational videos, to give them more content in the future. We recorded the songs, we were singing before together, that they can have the memory.
If you would only see their faces. How big thing it was for them.
And for me that was important: that they see that we can also share our things. And that our girls had a lesson: that giving things is maybe not always easy, especially things you really like, but it can bring so much happiness.
I don’t know how much they will use it. If there will be a small boy or a small girl, the curious one, who will one day sit and think: hmmm, how does this thing work? maybe I would like to learn more about it? maybe I will learn to read to be able to read more about it?
I don’t know if it will not disturb. If it is our task to show more, show the things, which don’t belong there. I don’t know if we have done the right thing.
But it felt right.
What do you think? Stupid white people with empty actions or a needed for the situation and bringing up your own kids – action? I’m still not sure.
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »