Every morning on her way to school, Hwang Wol-geum, a first grader, rides the same yellow bus as three of her family members: One is a kindergartner, another a third grader and the other a fifth grader.
Ms. Hwang is 70 — and her schoolmates are her grandchildren.
Illiterate all her life, she remembers hiding behind a tree and weeping as she saw her friends trot off to school six decades ago. While other village children learned to read and write, she stayed home, tending pigs, collecting firewood and looking after younger siblings. She later raised six children of her own, sending all of them to high school or college.
Yet it always pained her that she couldn’t do what other mothers did.
“Writing letters to my children, that’s what I dreamed of the most,” Ms. Hwang said.
This is an incredible story (with an incredible opening image) about late age Korean women learning to read in local schools left empty by a lowered national birthrate https://t.co/MQUFXI6hc3
— Derek Blasberg (@DerekBlasberg) April 29, 2019