Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wise Child

Kids from the rowdy neighborhood.
Not-so-old friends,
West Africa.

Africa teaches.

In some ways, children are wiser than adults, it seems.

A child can be happy in the moment, provided just a few things are satisfied.  If they're loved and fed, clothed and healthy, it's easy for them to relax and enjoy the moment.

Life is much more difficult than that for most folks, of course, and not every day is joyful, yet the children ... well, in a given moment, it seems they're able to enjoy themselves and each other.

Showing off, just for fun. 
Perhaps the secret is in a child's trusting heart.  They're cared for.  Mom and dad are watching out for them.  The community watches over them, too.  It's safe and secure.

Except you become as a little child, you'll not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Now that's an odd statement.  Is it just pretty words, or is there something of substance there?
Samuel and the kids clowning around
for the camera.  Kenya.
Dear friends on the desert's
edge.  Djibouti.

What might there be in the willingness of a child, the quick openness of their young hearts and minds, that would commend them to all the rest of us as role models?

If we asked, would they tell us?  :)

Mister, take my picture!

Mister, mister!  Take our picture, mister; this is my brother and my cousin.  Just for fun. 

It was five years ago this week that I met these young fellows.  Five years and maybe 25,000 pictures ago; and everything has changed.

This is Felicia in the middle of her daddy's field.  There's okra and corn, tomatoes and cassava, and other mystery plants.  Her family is a part of ours now, along with several dozen others here.  More in Ethiopia, precious friends.  More in Djibouti and many more in Kenya, and they're such a joy.


Who'd think five years could unveil such a change.

This is a youngster from a rowdy community of delightful people.  Hard working, tough minded, and graciously tolerant of the visiting white guy.  Over the years, we've become friends, sort of.  I'm the semi-official photographer for the community.  We print hundreds of photos for the various communities and families.

Go, see for yourself.
Or lend a hand!