donderdag 4 maart 2010

De biblio-ezel

Het is vandaag World Book Day en naar aanleiding daarvan wil ik iedereen graag laten meegenieten van dit artikel in de New York Times: een eerbetoon aan onderwijzer Luis Soriano uit Colombia die al tien jaar lang bijna elk weekend met zijn ezels beladen met boeken als een alternatieve bibliobus de binnenlanden intrekt.
LA GLORIA, Colombia — In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade here in Colombia’s war-weary Caribbean hinterland, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, in front of his home on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Sweating already under the unforgiving sun, he strapped pouches with the word “Biblioburro” painted in blue letters to the donkeys’ backs and loaded them with an eclectic cargo of books destined for people living in the small villages beyond. His choices included “Anaconda,” the animal fable by the Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga that evokes Kipling’s “Jungle Book”; some Time-Life picture books (on Scandinavia, Japan and the Antilles); and the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language.
“I started out with 70 books, and now I have a collection of more than 4,800,” said Mr. Soriano, 36, a primary school teacher who lives in a small house here with his wife and three children, with books piled to the ceilings.
“This began as a necessity; then it became an obligation; and after that a custom,” he explained, squinting at the hills undulating into the horizon. “Now,” he said, “it is an institution.”
A whimsical riff on the bookmobile, Mr. Soriano’s Biblioburro is a small institution: one man and two donkeys. He created it out of the simple belief that the act of taking books to people who do not have them can somehow improve this impoverished region, and perhaps Colombia.
 Lees de rest van het artikel hier.

3 opmerkingen:

  1. Een mooi artikel over een bevlogen man, dank je wel voor het posten!

  2. That's a wonderfully uplifting story.  Really encapsulates the spirit of World Book Day.

  3. Yes, we do need uplifting stories every now and then, don't we? It makes me happy just to know that there are people like Luis Sorano out there.