The Next Generation of Guyana

These are the children of Guyana. They were a delight -- brightening every one of my days in their country.
Their faces shine as they break into beautiful smiles, straight from the soul, hiding nothing at all. 
Red ribbons on braided hair accent their white and navy uniforms. 
The littler ones wear gingham in pink or blue and sometimes a shy expression or a silly face.

And they sing. Accompanied by the night sounds of the jungle. 
I asked them about it the next morning when they came down from school to get their teeth checked, 
but they wouldn't admit to singing at the top of their lungs.
They just smiled.

One of the older boys {maybe 11?} winked at me and said "take it easy". All his friends laughed. Of course.
And you should have seen the giggles when fingers were dipped in that bucket with cane syrup at the bottom.
This is my friend, David. He said his father died last year. 
His mother works down river and he and his siblings paddle their dugout canoe to school everyday.
He had a depth about him, like he had grown up too fast. His was a sensitive, thoughtful heart.
These are the children of Guyana. They learn to swim and paddle shortly after they learn to walk. 
They learn how to help their families. They learn to be independent. 
They learn the beauty in simplicity and how to be happy with almost nothing. 
Family ties are strong. They are strong.