Mr Bai is not at school today. He is about 14 years old.. There were heavy rains last night and they came through the roof of the house where he lives with his grandmother. He is the man of the house so he is home today to fix it. Sometimes he works as a ferryman, taking people or things across the slow mud brown river that runs alongside the village. He makes some money doing that. It is difficult for him to see what the future holds much further away than the end of the season.
My friend Duncan could see a future for him though. Duncan met Mr Bai back in 2012. He saw something special in this boy and signed him into a scholarship program with Classroom of Hope. He made sure Mr Bai has books, a uniform and special attention from a local NGO to ensure he keeps up his studies.
The school director says he is a bright boy.