I gave a lecture on the world map to the kids at Los Patojos. Turns out they have very little understanding of geography. So I stood at the whiteboard and sketched the world map for them. We talked about the continents, the equator, and the oceans. We talked about the convention of putting north on top and south down below. Why? Because the mapmakers were from the north. We turned our heads upside down and tried to imagine what the map would look like with south on top. This exercise was uninteresting to them. First, because they are do not know what the world map looks like. Second, because they are in the middle anyway.
This week, I will talk with them about Africa. When I asked some of them what is happening in northern Africa this year, most of them were unfamiliar with Mubarak’s departure, or crises in Tunisia, Libya or elsewhere. One of them told me he had heard about Egypt, that it was the biggest empire on earth. I asked him where he heard this. “In the Bible”, he said.