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« Holding on to Hope | Main | Letting Go »

When Words Fail

It was Sunday, our first full day in Tanzania. Our safari driver pulled off the long stretch of road on our way back to Arusha from Ngorongoro Crater. One the seats in his vehicle had broken at the frame, so in an effort to keep us comfortable for the remainder of the trip, he swiftly identified a group of mechanics in an open-air station to weld it back into place.

We had no idea where we were or how long we'd stay, but we quickly became engaged with a group of young children kicking a make-shift ball around a dusty open space just beyond the mechanics at work. Without hesitation, our friend AJ inserted himself into the game, while eight-year-old Carter moved tentatively toward these children. It was his first opportunity to communicate with African children and he wanted so much to do just that. Flipping through pages in his book of Swahili words, he selected and struggled to pronounce a few. But it was awkward. And frustrating. He didn't have the words, yet his desire to connect was so genuine and strong. I felt for that sweet boy. But he didn't give up. Putting the book down, he ran back to the vehicle... returning with a grin on his face and candy in his hands.

Reader Comments (17)

What a dedicated mother - to give her son hope but at the expense of her own time with him. I remember the pain I felt when leaving my daughter behind for a class I took in another country. It was only a short while, but the pain was still overwhelming. Suppressed sobs made me feel like I was hyperventilating. Later she told me that she felt the same way, but that it inspired her. In that moment, I knew it was all worth it. I hope the same for this mother as well.
March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarly
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