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I used to not look forward to having to get up so early in the morning, get ready so quickly, eat breakfast in minutes and rush into the car starting in mid-August. The relaxing days of summer would be gone and replaced with studying and school. However, I recently watched a movie called, “On the Way to School” that showed me how lucky I am to have such an easy, five-minute drive to my school, and to even be going to school and have such a great opportunity for a great education.

The movie focuses on four children that each have to walk more than 10 miles each day just to get to school on time, and their walks are not just straight, easy paths like a road or a sidewalk. Jackson, an 11-year-old, has to cross savannahs in Kenya filled with wild, angry elephants with his little sister twice a day. With her two friends, twelve-year-old Zahira must trek across more than 13 miles of rocky cliffs in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains to reach her weekly boarding school. Samuel, who is thirteen, but cannot use his legs, has to be pushed 2.5 miles by his younger brothers on a homemade wheelchair in eastern India in the morning and afternoon. And finally, Carlito, 11, rides eleven miles (on a horse) through the plains of Argentina with his younger sister the way to school and back.

What amazed me was that these children, who are all around my age, walk these distances and face these dangers alone! Their parents pray for their safety before they go, and they all have friends or siblings accompanying them, but they are very brave to go on the journey by themselves. They all realize the importance of doing whatever it takes to go to school to learn. I cannot imagine doing the same thing any one of these kids does on a daily basis.

When asked about what they want to be in the future, they all had inspiring replies. Samuel said that he would like to become a doctor so he could help fix other people with conditions like his.  Zahira wants to travel to the villages around her school and persuade families to send their children to school so they can have the same opportunities as her.

After watching this movie, I realized that when I complained about having to get up early and rush in the morning for school, it was nothing compared to what these kids had to go through to get to school as part of their normal routine. I felt grateful that I could safely sit in a car and ride with my parents to get to school each day for a 10 minute, not 10 mile, ride.

So the next time you get annoyed for having to get up so early to ride in a car, take a bus, bike or walk a short distance o school, remember these four kids and how they must walk miles in dangerous locations just to get to their schools. We should all be grateful we have access to a good education and an easy path to it.

If you want to find out more, you should watch the movie, “On the Way to School.” I highly recommend it if you want to watch an inspiring and motivating movie!

"On the Way to School" (2015), DistriB Films.
Directed by Pascal Plisson, written by Marie-Claire Javoy, Pascal Plisson.

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