Mind Bloom

I was teaching science in Asesewa, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, in west Africa. Asesewa was mostly isolated at that time. It had no electricity, running water, or telecommunications. I was teaching core science class. I was explaining the Copernican theory of solar systems. I explained how we lived on a planet that revolved around our sun, and that there were other suns with planets revolving around them. One of my girls, normally quite talkative, went quiet. I went on with the lesson. Several minutes later, she raised her hand. I recognized her. She hesitated, obviously assembling her words. She asked, "Sir, if there are other planets revolving on other suns, could those planets have people on them like us?" The other children laughed at this leap of imagination. These were children never exposed to science fiction, with its ideas of extraterrestrial life. To stand and watch a human mind open up and make that quantum leap of imagination, was breathtaking. It was like watching a sunrise in a clear sky. I have not seen anything so beautiful, never before and never since.



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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.