Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ever wonder where America’s yellow school buses go to die? Well, some found a second life on Central Africa’s rutted, traffic-choked roads. The familiar boxy buses that once carted American children around are now hauling Congo’s people, young and old, with their loads of preserved fish, powdered milk, beans, onions and cassava. These old yellow buses rattle fiercely, as they hurtle through the potholes peppering Kinshasa’s roads.

Again, imagination has led to other uses for some seven old buses that once shuttled commuters around Chile’s capital Santiago. They have found new life as makeshift classrooms in this earthquake-devastated city. Five of the buses became classrooms, one was turned into a teacher’s lounge, and the seventh became a bathroom, complete with seven stalls for boys and seven for girls.

Each classroom bus has room for 20 children. Teachers have placed a blackboard in front of the windshield, and small wooden desks are in the spots where the seats were once attached to the floor. There must be numerous places on earth where such schemes would benefit the local community.


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