When the Tablets Break

One of the most dramatic changes I’ve seen in Barrouallie took place in 2019. Up till that time after school most children would change their school clothes, and then either to the park, or play marbles.

Thats right….play marbles!

Boys especially enjoyed bringing out their favorite marbles (and getting some new ones). It got to the point where any free time was spent pitching marble. The school principal even had to get up and tell all of the children anyone playing marble during school would get in trouble since it made their school clothes dirty, and they didn’t wash their hands properly.

Then an amazing thing happened….

the Government started giving out tablets.

In 2019 the school system began giving out tablets to students, beginning with the older ones. I have mixed feelings about this since these tablets obviously helped them with the schoolwork, but at the same time they put an end to playing outside.

As the lower grades started receiving tablets less and less children played outside.

Suddenly nobody wanted to play marble because they were on ticktok!

Again I don’t doubt technology is a blessing. But it also keeps children inside staring at screens instead of interacting with one another. They are also watching many things on those tablets that don’t honor the Lord.

But there is good news!

The tablets eventually break.

One difference in SVG is once electronics are broken, they stay broken. This is because there aren’t replacement parts, and families often don’t have the money to purchase those parts.

And this gives me an opportunity to re-introduce simple pleasures

Last week I came by to visit some children in the community and they excitedly spent and hour drawing in the road with chalk. It was such a blessing to see the joy and hear laughter as they created houses, the sun, clouds, trees and a landscape for everyone to see.

And for a moment they remembered its okay when the tablet breaks.

Please pray for me as I continue introducing simple pleasures like chalk art and playing outside to children who sadly are addicted to screens. May they learn human interaction is better than being online, and turn the tablet off themselves.

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