Sight of Grace
Brazil 1980 | Ethiopia 1984 | Mali 1985 | Korem 1984 | Brazil 1983
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Culture Clash

     A day in the life of a child from America consists of what? Barney, Spaghetti O's, Barbies, Tonka Trucks, race cars, dolls, a nap, a trip to the playground, macaroni and cheese and then a good night's sleep in a comfy bed.

     A day in the life of a child the same age from Mali consists of what? Helping find food to feed the family, scrubbing pots, taking care of other siblings, taking care of himself, a barefoot walk across the desert by himself, a battle with starvation and then an attempt to sleep.
























See works cited for more information on this picture.




      Obviously these two children live very different lives. But they are the same age! That is what I find so fascinating and that is what my page is about. I don't know the answer to why this is the way it is, but my page is just filled with some of my thoughts on this subject.

      It's so interesting and weird to me that things are so different between these two countries. A 9 year old from Mali, hikes across a desert alone, while a 9 year old from America isn't even allowed to cross the street by himself. It's just really interesting to me. I purposely organized these pictures on the sides of this page to illustrate the visual difference.

       If you look at the pictures on the left side, you see pictures of children from Mali. You see them cooking, cleaning, looking somewhat sad, and sometimes young kids taking care of younger kids. You can just tell by these pictures and the main picture of the boy with the cane, that these children have much more responsibility, independence and maturity then the children from America. I don't know for a fact, but my opinion is that these children from Mali have been deprived of what a "normal" childhood should be. I think that they were forced to grow up too fast. I understand that this is the way it has to be in order to survive, and that they have to learn how to take care of themselves at a young age, but I still think that the years when you are just a carefree child are essential.

         If you look at the pictures on the right that are of American children, you will see kids laughing, playing, and not worrying about how they are going to help make dinner, or how they are going to walk barefoot across the desert. The pictures just capture the happiness and the innocence of the American children and I love it.

         My heart goes out to these children in Mali. I wish for them that they could have the same kind of childhood that most kids in America have. A childhood filled with happiness, singing, playing and not having to worry about anything. People have their whole adult lives to worry about responsibilities and dinner; they deserve a childhood to just play.

       So those are just some of my thoughts on the differences between children from these two very different countries. If you look at the photo of the boy with the cane, you will see the perfect representation of the independence and responsibility that these children have. These pictures just speak for themselves and they really touch me.








































Dettwlyer, Katherine A. Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press Inc, 1994.