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Zono and Ilea


Ilea (11) and his sister, Zono (7), welcome us with their hands together, saying in unison: “Hello, Teacher! How are you today?” Their parents and grandmother smile proudly hearing the children speak English.

The family owns one hectare of land, on which they grow rice and morning glory, but when their land cannot produce sufficient food, they borrow rice from their neighbors.

The children and the father pick morning glory and catch fish five times per week, even during times of heavy rain. Tears form in the eyes of his father, gratefully saying how kind and hard working of a son Zono is; the entire village knows this to be true.

Zono and Ilea both want to be teachers, reverently looking over to their TASSEL teachers upon being asked. Despite difficult circumstances, they study very hard at school and keep an optimistic outlook on life.

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