Whenever someone in Tanzania asks me what I study in the United States, I answer politics (“political science” seems to be a term that never made it across the Atlantic). They immediately follow up asking me if I want to be a politician or give me a look of confusion as if they’re thinking, why would you want to study a bunch of corrupt, power-hungry old men. It seems we all reach a point somewhere in young adulthood when we become jaded by politicians and politics.
It follows then, that at this point in my LTP experience, I shouldn’t be surprised at the way children think. But the dreams projects shows students at their most creative and highlights how different at least my own thought process is from theirs. So when working at Shalom School, I was a little surprised to see that someone’s dream for the future was to be a president. For one, it speaks volumes that, in a society that often seems patriarchal compared to our own, a standard V girl aspires to be a president. But that her vision of her presidency was one characterized by cheering crowds and thrilling speeches reminds you to be a little more hopeful about the world. So often, we think we’re teaching the students, improving their writing skills and sense of the world around them. But we forget how much they are teaching us.