School buses take on many different sizes and shapes in other parts of the world. While they sometimes maintain the "school bus yellow" we're used to seeing, their main goal of transporting students remains the same. But, sometimes the dangers along the way are incomprehensible for those who do not experience them on a daily basis.
The Chicago Tribune recently ran an article about Indonesian children whose "school bus" consists of a wooden fishing boat that the two boys in the story must "drive" to school themselves. Fandi, 12, and Alfan, 9, are brothers that live in a remote village in the Sumatran jungle.
After waking before the sun dawns and eating a breakfast of "coconut and chile-spiced vegetables over rice," the two boys row their way down an unpredictable river filled with poisonous snakes, crocodiles and "bono," a wall of water that is sometimes brought in from the nearby ocean and can overturns boats along the river. Along the way, they pass other villages, rice farmers and fisherman, which once led the boys to see a group pulling a 20-foot python from their fishing nets.
With everything that they run into on the way to school, and hopefully avoid, they are offered one piece of advice from their father: "Row hard and watch for danger."
But none of these dangers stop these two boys, and many like them, from getting to school and receiving an education that could someday take them beyond the borders of their villages.