Thursday, December 29, 2005

Macuma: Reproductive Health

Sorry this isn't a good picture, but it has a story: I was maybe a little bored with the idea of spending 4-5 days in Macuma just talking about latrines and hand-washing (though this is of very important), so I asked the gentleman who runs the town clinic (building in the background) if he knew of any reproductive health programs for the young women of the high school (girls in the foreground).... next thing I knew I was talking (with the local Shuar Pastor David Chu) to the 150 students (men and women) of the regional high school about sex education from a Chrisitan perspective and promising the director to return in Febuary with more course materials and dedicated teaching time. These kids live in a confusing clash of cultures where traditional Shuar culture demands that girls and boys grow-up seperately and the influencial un-censured sensual modern world says anything goes. You can imagine in such a world, the idea of discernment is a little hard to come by. Teachers in this high school have fathered children of fourteen-year-old students without dismissal and often young mothers are left of fend for themselves and their babies.

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