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1.27.2009

1/24 Kingly Generosity

When I visited my host family, Ama was full of big news. Baba just bought her a washing machine (more on that later), and the king's foundation had come through town, bearing gifts.

Every kid in town had gotten a new set of winter clothes and pair of winter boots, along with a tas of milk, Ama told me. A tas is a cup, or sometimes a bucket, so I thought she was telling me that every kid had gotten a glass of milk - which, while nice, seemed a little...paltry. But then she showed me - every kid in town had been given a tin, a foot tall and 8" across, filled with powdered milk. There are few cows around here, so nearly everyone (including me) drinks powdered milk. She insisted on giving me a few cup-fulls of the powdered milk, saying, "Your siblings got some, so you should get some, too." :)

For the littlest babies, a warm blanket was given in lieu of boots, but they got the giant tin of milk, too.

And have I mentioned before that the king's foundation (actually named for his grandfather: Fondacion Mohammed V) provided textbooks, backpacks, pens, pencils, protractors, etc, for every schoolchild in the province?

I know that as a development agent I should be resistant to charity, and arguing for economic-growth-from-within, but I can't help but be grateful for the royal generosity, making such a tangible contribution to the lives of my family and neighbors. :)

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps