Wednesday, December 14, 2011

88 Degrees of Separation - Fahrenheit! Jan 26, 2010

It's a lovely -20 here in Saskatoon this morning...-4 F for all my American friends...and Jason is experiencing 29 degree heat in Zambia. A lovely 84 fahrenheit...it's evening in Zambia and I'm just starting out my day. I've already ferried one boy to school for early morning track practice, dug out a path to drag the garbage can to the curb although I think it's a bit optimistic to think that there will be garbage pickup in a our neighbourhood which has three to four foot drifts of new snow. But optimisic I am this morning.You hear of many couples who have separated lately. More and more in our circle of friends and it's so disheartening. Jason and I are separated at the moment...only by geographical distance. He's in Zambia and to be honest, I know that when he returns, we'll have even more that binds us together. He's spending time with some of the same people who have had the biggest influence on my life this past year. He's hanging out with James and Sukai, whom I love in a manner that I love my dearest, oldest friends here. James and Sukai are an incredibly selfless couple that continue to just give of themselves to others in the areas surrounding Kitwe in Zambia. They have 5 of their own children and raising them alone would be a great undertaking, but James and Sukai feed many children daily that just wouldn't eat otherwise. Sukai is a mother to the communities around her. She walks through the pathways of Mulenga and takes in all around her...pulling children towards her for a quick conversation and a quick examination to make sure that they are eating or that someone is caring for them and if not, making sure that one of her fellow care workers checks back with the child.Jason's also been hanging out with many of the same children that I was able to be with. Our only communications have been by text messages so I'm not sure the details of who he has met. I want so badly to know whether he's been able to meet Kennedy and Jackson, the boys who will begin to have the responsibilities of men in the next few years, even though they are only ten. They are born leaders and best buddies. They've been given the encouragement to develop their leadership and set good examples for the hundreds of children around them that look up to young boys like them to provide a model for how to live well in such dire circumstances. These boys would be esteemed in North America for their charm and good looks, their ability to dance and laugh and make friends...and they'd certainly be the stars of their soccer teams. I've seen them run barefoot through dry stubbled grasses and play with such enthusiasm and skill that it astounds me that they have no open area to play in their own village. I imagine them if they were born in North America, they'd be lacing up some expensive soccer cleats and playing on manicured fields and yet I don't think it would make them anymore talented or impressive.I hope that Jason and I have the opportunity to bring our boys to Zambia in the near future. I want to share these friendships with as many people as possible. I would love to watch Aidan and Easton and Kennedy and Jackson just get to know each other and learn from each other. I'd love to see my boys teach them to play some street hockey on the paths of Mulenga. And I'd love to watch Aidan and Easton's expressions as Kennedy and Jackson run through the paths and alleys with the soccer ball flying out in front of them wherever they direct it.So yes, this morning...I am optimistic. And I hear the garbage truck!

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