A lone seed in a 'Southern Desert'

LAST YEAR , we told the story of Rabo, an eight-year-old African boy of modest means coming to terms with life in the new South Africa (see "Rabo meets Barney, "June 10, 2002). We learned how his faith in God had helped him survive fierce competition from affluent white boys in his class and threats of bullying.

In January, Kim Shippey revisited Rabo and his adoptive mother, Mary, on the eve of Rabo's departure for boarding school in Johannesburg. Kim invited Mary to tell the Sentinel about this important phase of Rabo's life. At first, she hesitated. She said her standard six (eighth grade) English wasn't good enough, But with patience and some gentle prompting, Mary's side of the story gradually emerged.

WHILE WE were trying to get the books and clothes Rabo needed for boarding school, I asked him how he felt. "Are you excited or scared?"

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March 3, 2003

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