Monday, May 10, 2010


No, not the Gandhi who lived and died in India, and believed in passive rebellion, my friend Gandhi.

Gandhi is the executive director of the Oaxaca Street Children Center. She feels that her name gives her a lot to live up to. She has a Masters Degree in public administration, and continued her studies in Texas learning more about non-profit development.

She works full time at the center, teaches a university class for two hours each weeknight and has set-up a classroom in her house where she teachers kindergarten and elementary school children English weekend mornings.

She invited me to visit her home school. I had no idea it was so far from Oaxaca, about a forty-five minute drive one way to a small pueblo, and she makes the communte everyday. Like most unmarried young people in Mexico she lives with her parents.

I was amazed at how much English she had taught the children in the few months that she's been teaching them. It's wonderful that she's given these small children an opportunity they would otherwise have not had.

Gandhi's fiancé, Sinuhe, is studying to be a surgeon. He works in Veracruz, and makes the long communte home once a month, to spend the weekend with his family. During his vacations, which occur once every six months, he's busy taking care of the medical needs of the families who are part of the center.

He was home this weekend, and he and Gandhi were charming hosts, who after school was out, showed me the sites around their part of Oaxaca.

Ghandi's parents are both teachers with part-time businesses they run on weekends. In Ghandi's house, one wall is filled degres and diplomas. Everyone in her house is intelligent and well educated. And yet, the bathroom light doesn't work, there's no toilet seat on the toilet and to flush the toilet you put water in the bowl.

The accountant who did my income taxes last year couldn't understand why I live in Mexico. The answer is simple, because as far as I'm concerned Mexican people have their priorities straight.

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