Yesterday I had the top older boys in class, Omid, Dariush, Farid Gul and Ali. They took a quiz on proverbs from Kenya and the history of the Panama Canal. All four of them got 100% correct. There has been a shift in their attentiveness to their studies. The exam was not particularly easy. There were fifteen proverbs of which I gave the opening line in English that they had to finish from an extensive list of possible endings. For the history section a one-page essay had 15 words missing they had to fill in correctly. I have gotten their comprehension skills where I want them to be; now it is time to graduate them to composition. The degree to which these boys have developed cannot be underestimated. They are going to be a powerful force in their society, given they are male and they are worldly, astute, and respect women as their equal. Every time they arrive at class we clasp hands and hug one another. There is a sense of comradeship as if we are all survivors of a close call with forces of nature. When I go to the boys orphanage I am the same teacher that teaches the girls, but there is a facet to being in an all-boy realm that harkens me back to places woven into my spirit, of climbing trees, hunting, running, building, tackling, taunting and teasing. The strangeness comes with the fact that the boys in Sitara III are not youngsters any more. They are fourteen to seventeen year olds, and what flies in the face of all my experience is there is no preponderance of girl-craziness. In fact there is none at all. I do not know if this is good or bad, but it does seem to strengthen their ability to have and nurture relationships with anyone- girls, adults, children, based on something more than sheer impulse.