Wednesday, September 24, 2008

we walk the line

We are rejoicing because Isaac got into the school we wanted him in. I didn't realise that I was nervous about whether he would get in until the day arrived to find out and I was getting very snappy and unpleasant. I went in to look at the list and there he was:

Sawatzky, Isaac

We went out for celebratory pizza and came back to pay his deposit. By this point, the only people left standing around were those dealing with the disappointment that their child was on the extensive waiting list or not there at all. I had to walk past them to sign beside my child's name to show that I accepted the place. This was hard to do.

I felt my position of privilege. This school is the only truly English medium school in Mthatha and they give priority to first language English kids. So we had more of a chance at what one friend called 'the only good school in Mthatha.'

And yet I am also not in a position of privilege. This school was our only choice. We are minorities, outsiders. If this fell through, we had no other options. We are always on the edge here - if something goes wrong, we are not absorbed back into the whole as someone else would be. We continue to develop our network of support and our language ability grows but we still do not have the safety net that we do where our families are and where we are so thoroughly ensconced in one church community.

Daily we walk this line between privileged status and minority status.

-anna

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