Saturday, September 01, 2007

Soldiers Everywhere

Three years ago when I started class out here I was more than a little frightened to see so many soldiers wandering around my campus wearing their army fatigues. There were more than a thousand of them, and every morning, noon, and night, you would find them out in the court yard or on the sports field practicing drill. When I would see them walking around the campus I would check my purse to make sure I had my passport and all my papers. I wanted to be prepared in case one of these soldiers asked to see my paper work. Every year the last week of August or the first week of September, the flock of soliders return to campus, and all over the basketball court there are groups of soldiers.

I learned pretty quickly that these soldiers were not worth being afraid of, in fact they are part of a country wide initiation to college. All freshmen start school a week early for military training. In a lot of ways it is more about teaching them discipline and group co-operation than any real military manoeuvres. I can hear them singing and chatting outside my window, almost as often as I hear their drill leaders yelling “right, left, right, march”. It is funny to watch the sophomores loiter close by, trying to look cool since they are now upper class men and are too old to be in camouflage marching for hours each day.

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