A couple of weeks ago, I wanted peanuts so I drove to the grocery store. I knew that Stop-and-Shop had peanuts because my dad had brought them home before, but when I couldn’t find any, I left. I didn’t even bother to ask an employee. My attitude on less-than-ideal circumstances has always been, “Eh, what are you gonna do?” My lack of determination clearly demonstrates that I wasn’t raised in Pixtup.
The Pixtup school that we had the chance to visit today is relatively new. Before its construction, children had to walk more than an hour to arrive at a different school across a treacherous river. Concerned for their children’s safety, some parents opted out of sending their kids to learn altogether. Justifiably so, considering that one student was tragically killed on the walk. Instead of accepting their own, much-more-serious-than-a-lack-of-peanuts circumstance as inevitable, the community took matters into its own hands and built a new school closer to their homes. Currently, they’re in the process of getting approval from the government. For the time-being, the Pixtup school has limited resources. It lacks books and desks. It is a small, three classroom building made of sugarcane walls with a metal roof on top. There are no desks, but rather tables surrounded by benches and a few chairs. Still, the desire to learn is evident throughout. Students in sixth grade are studying math problems like 490854962÷4867, and posters with English words such as uncle and wife (along with their pronunciations, oncol and guif) are hung on the walls. In Pixtup, not only was the community willing to dream big, they also worked to make their dreams a reality. Whereas I had lots of time and energy to realize my desire for peanuts, the parents in Pixtup are perpetually busy. They work long days of farming and caring for their households—one of the fathers on the school board had eleven children. Still, community members are making time to fight to give their kids opportunities; opportunities to read, write, speak English, learn arithmetic, and better their minds and futures. As a future School the World site, and as a place with a burning desire to improve, Pixtup will continue to grow. The community is nothing short of amazing.
The next time I want peanuts, gosh darn-it I’ll have peanuts! Thanks to Pixtup, I learned an invaluable lesson today that I’ve never before taken to heart. Where the will is strong enough, there will always be a way.