Thursday, April 09, 2009

AMAZINGLY Tiny world

Today I had the pleasure of visiting a school in Lancaster County, PA, the Solanco High School. I saw many interesting things there, but this story made me shake my head in wonder.

The father of one of the students at the high school is a doctor and he shares his talents by traveling to the far reaches of the planet to help the needy. Recently he traveled to Kenya where he worked in a hut in a small village giving vaccines and providing general care to the natives in the area.

Imagine his surprise when a native woman came into the clinic with her child, and she was wearing a Solanco t-shirt! She, of course, had NO idea where she got it nor that there was any kind of connection with it. I don't think she could speak English, either, although I'm not certain of that. The story of how that t-shirt got to Kenya must be a fascinating story in its own right. But, what are the odds of that happening? You travel around the world into a VERY remote spot, and one of the natives is wearing a t-shirt from your high school.

Still think the world isn't shrinking?

Here's a picture that the good Doctor was willing to share.


Katy Gallagher said...

When I read your story and you pondered how that t-shirt got is one possiblity: my cousin Martha grew up in Lancaster County and graduated from Solanco HS (in the mid 70s). Over the course of her career with the IRC (Int'l Red Cross) she has lived all over the world, including 2 stints in Nairobi. Perhaps she was cleaning out old clothes and donated them while living there? maybe that's how that t-shirt got there...just a possibility...

Sandee said...

Jim, I think it's noble that educators are taking the ideals of world literacy/education seriously, especially for girls and women.

I'm talking specifically of well-known people and causes like Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea) and John Wood (Room to Read)and Oprah.

However, it's caused me to think about the socio-economic problems of education in our own country and the effects of poverty & apathy toward our own population, again especially women & girls.

Where might I find statistics about our poorest areas & need? My ideal is to start a trend toward raising our society's awareness of creating a highly educated society. You know, similar to the Scandanavian models......

Maybe we can raise the awareness of the nation without all the high stakes testing......

Sandee Shellenhamer

Kelsey said...

You should check out the book "Travels of A T-shirt" the author ends it with an exploration of aftermarket apparel trade. I also read a pretty cool article along this lines. It was titled "Why Zimbabwe (or some other African nation, I can remember which) loves the Buffalo Bills." Apparently those championship T-shirts that get passed out after the big win go to waste if the team doesn't actually win. So they get donated and shipped overseas.

Still, what are the odds of the T-shirt and the Dr. bumping into one another?


Graham said...

Just goes to show how much crap we generate here in the west, creating stuff we use just a few times before dumping. How many T shirts do we consume, vs how many do we need?

Jim Gates said...

Wow... Graham... VERY curious as to the search term you used to find that post. But of course I'm very glad that you did and that you took the time to post a comment.