Not Every Kid Gets Driven to the Bus Stop in an SUV

Hi Readers — Sometimes feels as if we’ve lost a little perspective on what constitutes danger, especially when it comes to whether it’s safe for our kids to walk a couple blocks to school.

This video should restore it. And then some.

44 Responses

  1. That’s really cool. I wish the report didn’t emphasize the “These people could die doing this!” aspect of it rather than the amazing method of transportation part.

  2. Well of course it’s safer than walking to school. There are no predators lurking on the corners since there are no corners. They can’t get lured into a car since there are no cars! Oh wait…maybe I’m not getting the point here.

    All I know that if this was my only way to school, there’s no way I would’ve ever learned to read and write. Yikes.

  3. As my 7 year old daughter said, “Awesome! I wish I could go to school like that!”

  4. this is fantastic. I love how no one has ever been seriously hurt or killed. That’s probably because everyone’s responsible for their own pulley and harness; it’s like that in rockclimbing, too. The amount of danger in a situation rests on how accountable people make themselves for their own safety.

  5. I *SO* want to do that!

  6. Walked to school everyday. It was never that fun.

  7. What I want to know is, how do they get HOME?! Uff.

  8. Stacy – they have two one way systems, one up and one down. The up one pulls, one presumes.

    I remember when we got to ride the zip line at some field trip in 6th grade. That was very, very cool. I wonder if they still do that? Of course, it was nothing like this long and this high…

  9. I pay $50-75 to do that in Costa Rica while on vacation, and these kids get to do it daily and for FREE!

    Awesome!

    This would have made my trip to school a lot more fun

  10. I loved flying foxes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zip-line) as a kid in New Zealand. Huge, fast, and cooperative since the bigger kids would bring the trolley up for the littler ones. Once my son is old enough, we’ll have one in the backyard.

  11. “Amazingly, nobody has ever been seriously injured”.

    Well, no duh. If I was dangling from a cord so far above ground, and had learned to do so since childhood, I’d hold on tight!

  12. @Stacy, Sky

    I think both cables start at high elevation and go to lower. So you end up having to hike back up the elevation that you dropped at some point. They carry their own pulley, so the there’s no pulley to pull back up along the cable to the start.

  13. That looks so fun! I don’t know that I can let my kids watch – we don’t have a place to set a zip line up here.

  14. That’s great, my old neighbor used to drive 50 ft to the next driveway to wait for the bus so her little princess wouldn’t get wet or cold on a crappy day.
    If I had one of those, I would take my kids to school everyday. What a blast.

  15. Yeah, the voiceover that kept emphasizing the danger over and over was the annoying thing. Even though the girl said she was afraid, she seemed pretty matter-of-fact about it.

  16. My 15 year old watched it with me and he said, “Of course no one gets hurt, they’ve been doing it since they were born.”
    They did emphasize the threadbare burlap sack. Perhaps we could take up a collection to buy her a new sack…:)

  17. It is cool. I also love the fact that the 11 yo is trusted with her siblings although I was surprised at her carrying the sister in a bag. That would have made me a nervous wreck.

  18. I told my kids we are stringing a cable from here to the school so I don’t have to get up early to drive them in the morning!

  19. That was just amazing. I don’t suppose they have many people that are afraid of heights in that town. I would never even get close to the ledge, let alone go across the wire. I guess I would have been illiterate if I grew up there.

    And I loved that the kids were all responsible for each other. I’m so tired of hearing how irresponsible and negligent it is for me, as a mother, to “make” my older kids get breakfast for the younger kids. I should be up before them cooking a 3 course breakfast every day and my 9 and 8 year olds should never have to get anything for themselves, let alone their 3yo sister. Never mind they enjoy the responsibility and the independence. I’ve been told many times that they aren’t old enough (especially the 3yo) to be up without a parent watching them and shouldn’t have to fend for themselves. Don’t know what reality they live in. My 3yo just needs someone to pour her milk but I insisted the other day she was capable of doing it herself because there was like an inch of milk at the bottom. What better time to learn to pour then right then. She was thrilled at the opportunity.

  20. Great Video, Lenore!

    Thanks for posting it. We all need some perspective.
    This is one of those things that LOOKS a lot more dangerous than it really is.

  21. Love it, though I expect if I was one of the villagers I’d wish we had a bridge🙂 And shows how capable children are if you actually give them some responsibility.

    Used to be that being the eldest made you more likely to be successful because you took on these sort of leadership and teaching opportunities with your younger siblings. I wonder if that’s going to change in these families where kids aren’t allowed to do anything for themselves before they hit adulthood.

  22. I’ve seen this before (several times- I think that video was made when *I* was in grade school). My feeling is, if the government does NOT want to build a bridge they should at least provide proper safety equipment- ie: a professional zip line set up with harnesses for the school children, at least. Even though no one has been hurt of the small sample of people who have used it, not having a proper harness is comparable to me to having a child ride without a car seat. I do think there is an unnecessary level of danger, given our technology with regards to safety harnesses and these types of very tall zip lines.

    It definitely gives you perspective, though.

  23. This definitely put things in perspective, but I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the video either. Apparently, the government doesn’t care about the people in that village. They don’t get a bridge because it costs too much, with too few people crossing. Providing the whole town with better equipment would cost a lot more.

  24. I was attending a teaching workshop before the start of school, when my sister posted pictures from their vacation to facebook. During a break, I was looking at the pictures on my laptop.

    The people who were shocked I wasn’t reporting Sis and BIL for child abuse really ticked me off. The “abuse” – My 14 yo and 3 yo Nieces were doing zip lines in the rainforest canopy with full safety gear and helmets. They kept saying things about them forcing the 3 yo to do this. The 3 yo had a huge grin on her face in every picture. In the video you can hear her say Do it again Mommy, Faster Mommy along with giggles.

    There were a couple of shots of the 14 yo looking bored/tired. A 14 yo at resort looking tired – that is a shock. (They let her set her own bedtime knowing what was planned the next day. You know building responsibility)

    Sis and BIL had a plan for if the 3yo had bulked or been scared. BIL’s Mom was there and babysitting their 1 yo. She would have come picked up the 3 yo if things didn’t work out.

  25. I’m going to send this to my son next time he whines about walking two blocks in the rain to his bus stop.🙂

  26. My 8 y.o. WISHES she could travel to school this way! (The razor scooter just doesn’t go FAST enough and she has to stop at all of those darn corners to check for cars!)

  27. I was amazed at the sentence “everyone brings their own rope and pulley” and the cables are rickety. You’d think the government could at least spring for that if not a bridge.

  28. “I was amazed at the sentence “everyone brings their own rope and pulley” and the cables are rickety.”

    Jen – If I were going to put my life on the line like that I think I’d rather trust my own rope and pulley than one that was left there and didn’t have someone responsible for ensuring it was in good shape for *every* crossing. I think there would also be a problem with how you’d get the rope and pulley back to the start.

    The cable itself didn’t look rickety to me, quite solid in fact, although two kids at a time isn’t a lot of weight to be sending across. I think a lot of the language was chosen for effect rather than because it was truly reflective of the situation.

    I was more concerned about the tires at the end and the braking system – if something happens to your stick of a brake on the way over those tires don’t look like they’re going to do too much to soften your landing.

    I’d love to have a go though🙂

  29. I can’t honestly say I’d want my kids to get to school this way, but I was struck by how, after traveling on the cable, the children walk on the narrow shoulder of a highway to get the rest of the way to school. That’s probably just as dangerous as the zip line, and the breathy announcer didn’t pick up on it.

    I’d love to show this clip to my neighbor who reprimanded me for allowing my nine year old son to walk home from the bus stop by himself–a distance of half a block.

  30. Those of you commenting on the government not stepping in and building a bridge or professional system… they’re poor!!!! Hello!

    That includes, generally, their governments. When you’re talking a third world country, their assets are going to be pooled in the cities, where the most people are, and where the most business is going to be conducted to keep their heads above water.

    Not only that, you have the costs involved with maintaining a system for those x amount of folks (notice, it said 8 kids cross the zip – so in that tiny village, there may be – what – 25 people? 50?), and not only the costs of maintaining – but if a third world government decided to step in and build a zip line? Pfft, you’d better believe it’d probably fail due to budgetary constraints on the project to begin with.

    These people are fine, and that’s the lesson that should be learned… not a single person killed or injured… not only children but PEOPLE in general are resilient when allowed to be.

  31. WOW!!!! I think that is so cool! I have to send this video to my friend that just went on a few zip lines this past weekend. She is gonna love it!

  32. That looks like an inch-and-a-half steel cable. Assuming it’s not too badly corroded, you could send a *car* across on the zip line — if the anchors at the ends were strong enough.

    The risky part is not the line itself, it’s the stop at the end. I’d prefer something with a bit more give than a stack of tires.

  33. Uly: There was a kindergarten like that here in Portland, Oregon for a few years. The farm where they held it moved in another direction, and the school went back to being a traditional Waldorf School.

    I had hoped to send our little guy there before it shut down, and that’s despite the huge percentage of Waldorf parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids.

  34. They are very, very cool and brave!

  35. I agree that the highway part looked more dangerous than the zip line. However, that burlap sack was worrisome.

  36. Awesome!! My kids love it!

  37. My hubby is from Colombia. May be a poor country, they can build a bridge if they really tried, but too many problems outside the cities and larger towns with the FARC, Paramilitaries, cartels, bright coloured cute little froggies of death, etc etc. From what my hubby told me of his childhood, kids out there go though alot to get to school, even in the cities.

  38. p.s. show yours kids this vid next time they complain about school. These kids risk death for an education even if chances are slim that they will even have any opportunity to go to college.

  39. Uh, holy sh*t! And “no thank, you!” come to mind.

    The threadbare sack bothered me. I did have to laugh at how thrilled the 9yo brother seemed.

  40. Great googly-moogly! That scared the holy crap outta me! Man, it sucks being an adult!😉 The kids thought it was fun! That was cute.

  41. “Could lead to a fatal fall” and then having to admit that no one has ever been hurt. The announcer seems sad about that. LOL

  42. I would have loved going to school that way!

    I agree the announer really tried to ham it up how dangerous it was but the kids had grown up accustomed to traveling that way. I bet the little one who travels in the burlap sack would get to learn how to do it when she is 8.

  43. I love how a steel cable that looks like it’s an inch in diameter (breaking strength min 83600 lb, safe working load 16700 lb) is described as “rickety”.

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