Dangerous Adventures to Get to School [A Documentary Review - CineTV Contest]

Did you know that some kids have to walk for hours through dangerous paths... just to go to school? For them, going to school is quite hard and a life risking experience. To some of these kids, it's a daily adventure to go to school and back.

This is a documentary series about such adventures. The documentary is divided in 14 episodes... and luckily, they are all freely available on YouTube, so I'll leave those links in the post, too! 😎

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IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School


This is my entry for the Contest 9: Your Favorite Documentary(s)!


Season 1: Episode 1 - Kenya

The first episode is in Kenya. These kids need to walk for 10 km through a desert, a savanna and a leopard's valley just to attend classes.

On this episode we accompany the path of several groups of young children: a group of 3 very young boys, one of them is just 4 years old, another couple who walk together to school... and finally a 12 year old girl who walks all the way by herself.

All of them need to rely on their own to find the way, stay out of trouble... and still need to find drinking water and food along the way.

The youngest kid makes it sounds quite easy. He points far away into the horizon and says:

** - "It's actually quite simple. To get to school, we just need to go past the big tree, over to the other big tree, and then on to the next one. And then we're almost there." ** πŸ˜‚

Easier said than done: they must avoid elephants, leopards and snakes to reach the school in safety.

I rate this episode with an 8 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Kenya


Season 1: Episode 2 - Nepal

This is one of my favourite episodes. These kids need to travel down the mountain until they reach the river, which is the hardest part of the journey, as there are not bridges to cross in safety. All they have to cross is a weird contraption set up by one of the villagers. This consists of a metal basket which slides across the river along two metal cords. The mechanism is completely manual, which means that two of the kids must balance themselves upon the cords and push the carriage across the river... where the smaller kids stay. 😱

To say this is dangerous is a big understatement. Most of the kids don't even know how to swim, so falling is out of the question. Also, they need to pay attention to their hands because they can easily lose a finger or two if they aren't careful.

After this... they still need to walk a few kms along a busy road with no sidewalks.

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Nepal


Season 1: Episode 3 - Oymyakon

This little village, Oymyakon, is considered to be the coldest inhabited place on Earth... Here, when the temperature is below -54ΒΊ C the kids might stay home and skip school. Otherwise, school is mandatory.

On this episode we follow a boy who walks alone to school... and a girl who goes by bus, which is also an adventure. Since there is only one very old bus for the whole village, the girl must wait for the bust to appear... and if that doesn't happen during a 20 minute window, she needs to go back home or else she will freeze. πŸ˜–

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Oymyakon


Season 1: Episode 4 - Peru

This time the main adventure is crossing a huge lake to reach school...

We follow a boy who paddles alone for 3 hours on a raft he made himself... and also a couple of sisters who have a little boat.

I don't have a clue how these kids find their way, I think I would get lost very quickly on such a vast lake. But somehow they all manage it by themselves, without the help of any adult!

I rate this episode with an 8 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Peru


Season 1: Episode 5 - Himalaya

This episode is a little different. Since the school is so far away, two adults accompany the kids on a 100 km long journey.

Yes, you read that right, they need to walk for about 100 km through ice valleys and along ice cold rivers to reach the school, where the kids will stay and sleep for a school year.

The whole path takes around 4 days. They need to set up camp wherever possible and sleep on the mountain until they reach their destination.

The adults leave them at school... and then they head back for another 4 day long journey! 😬

I rate this episode with an 8 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Himalaya


Season 2: Episode 1 - Nicaragua

This is another one of my favourites... What a crazy episode this was.

We follow the path of a boy who must walk through a thick jungle full of dangerous animals, including buffaloes and poisonous snakes...

... at the same time, 3 sisters paddle on a decrepit small canoe to get to school. The canoe is in such a bad shape that it's always letting water in through the holes. The youngest girl must keep throwing the water overboard or else they'll sink. 😨

As if that wasn't enough, it often rains while they're on the canoe.

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Nicaragua


Season 2: Episode 2 - Mongolia

Another interesting episode. This time, we see a 12 year old girl being taken to school by her father on a motorbike. The path is very difficult since it's all frozen and slippery.

We also see a 10 year old boy riding his horse alone to school.

For both of them the most tricky spot of the path is to cross the frozen river.

I rate this episode with an 8 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Mongolia


Season 2: Episode 3 - Mexico

These families live in a mountainous area and the school is located at the top of a mountain.

Three sisters, aged 6, 8 and 9 walk together and have their share of fun on the path to school... πŸ€—

Meanwhile, a 6 year old boy has a much more difficult task, as he must walk alone through a very harsh path up hill.

They all take around 4 hours to reach their destination... so doing this twice a day it's not feasible. All of them stay in the school for a whole week, where they sleep in a not so good dormitory.

I rate this episode with an 8 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Mexico


Season 2: Episode 4 - Ethiopia

The deserts of Ethiopia lay the stage for another set of adventures. These kids must walk through the scorching desert for over two hours while avoiding wild animals as they walk to school.

Ethiopia is a country with many tribes and dialects, so the kids must not only learn English... but also Amharic, the official language of the country. From an early age, these kids already speak 3 languages! 😎

I rate this episode with an 8 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Ethiopia


Season 2: Episode 5 - Papa New Guinea

This episode was very cool... but a bit surprising at the end. (I won't spoilt it, don't worry.)

On this jungle of Papa New Guinea, there is only a school very far away... over 100 km away. A couple of cousins - a boy and a girl - are accompanied by the boy's father through the vast jungle and several rivers. Most rivers are relatively easy to cross except for the last one, which is a large and fast moving river. There are dangers everywhere, including very poisonous snakes! It impressed me a lot to see them all travel barefoot through the jungle and rivers... πŸ€”

They will need to stay for a school year at the boarding school, since walking this path regularly is not an option. The whole journey takes almost a week.

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Papa New Guinea


Season 3: Episode 1 - Philippines

These kids have a very hard task, since their way to school is basically to climb a very steep mountain for a couple of hours.

On certain spots of the way, a slip and fall will be deadly. If you add to that the fact that sometimes it rains and makes everything wet and slippery, you can see that it's a very risky business to go to school in the part of the world. 😬

Some parts of the way are so narrow that if someone is coming down, they need to wait in order to let them pass...

The way back home is even harder, since going down the mountain is always more dangerous than climbing up.

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Philippines


Season 3: Episode 2 - Colombia

On this part of Colombia the access to school is also quite dangerous.

For a group of boys and girls, the main danger includes crossing a very bizarre and weak bridge. Since the bridge was made by local villagers, it's not a very good one. It's basically a set of logs stuck to each other... and not very strongly. The bridge is wobbly and narrow... after this, the path is not that hard.

For another boy, life ain't any easier. He has a long and narrow canoe which is not particularly stable. He can't move around much or else he will turn over. After crossing the river he must walk... which includes going through a swamp holding his backpack over his head. πŸ˜…

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Colombia


Season 3: Episode 3 - Bolivia

This is the final episode and a very interesting one.

On this chapter, we follow two brothers who must cross a gorge using a zip-line to reach the other side of the valley... Their father accompanies on this part since using the zip-line is very dangerous, specially for children. If a kid places his hand of the wrong place, he might lose his hand... and fall down. 😱

We also see a couple of sisters walking down the mountain for a couple of hours until they reach the main road which will lead them to school. The jungle where they live is known for the infamous coral snake, which is very poisonous. They need to be on the lookout all the time.

I rate this episode with a 9 out of 10.

IMDB Link: The Most Dangerous Ways to School - Bolivia


Overall Thoughts

I believe this is a phenomenal series which is perfect for parents who have kids who don't like to go to school. Showing this to those kids will surely make them see life in a different way... One's never young enough to get a reality check and understand his financial privilege.

The only issues I had with this documentary is:

  1. That it's too short... I would happily watch a lot more episodes! πŸ€—
  2. The English dubbing is not my thing, I would prefer to listen to their native languages and dialects with subtitles.

Other than that I loved everything about it. I highly recommend this to everyone, specially those who are interested in seeing other cultures, very different from their own. 😎

I hope you enjoy watching this as much as I did.


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