Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Praying for Friday
After introductions between our team and the home based care volunteers, James asked if we would sing a song. We had been told that we would be asked this by the team that came in June, a team I might add that included a number of talented singers that have travelled and sung in front of numerous audiences. Not so our team. After an abnormally long minute of exchanging glances and raised eyebrows towards one another, Melissa bravely started out in a song. Thankfully, it was one that most of us knew and we sang it a little bit sheepishly. Then James asked one of the volunteers to lead them in a song. And the second that her mouth opened, I was both embarrassed and relieved that we had gone first. What followed was some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard…made more beautiful by the unabashed volume at which these volunteers sung together and clapped and danced. I looked around at our team and we were all in varying states of shock, surprise and utter amazement. It was unbelievable what we were standing in the midst of. Song after song, they offered up in succession with their voices raised and their hands clapping and every part of their body moving to the music. The windows of the school filled with even more children clambering for a spot and a few of the bolder children filed in along the wall near the doorway. Apparently there is a gene that provides the ability to dance, sing and smile all at the same time and Zambians have been blessed with it. It was the first of many experiences in which there was nothing else to do but marvel at the gracefulness and beauty of these beautiful people dancing. Even Nkosi, 84, nearly blind, would move in and out of the circle so lightly on his feet that you would think he was a small boy. His smile wide and his hands clapping, this man could dance….and dance he did. He danced with such joy and optimism that you would think he had an easy life with everything he ever desired. He danced the lighthearted dance of someone unencumbered by their own humanity.Each of the volunteers danced and sang and invited us to join in and it was a perfect beginning to what was going to be an amazing couple of weeks together. Friendships began in that circle and our lives entwined in a way that still binds my heart to theirs from across the globe.