This morning, I pulled out the ratty notebooks that make their way across the ocean with me on my trips. They start out so shiny and clean and I try my best to keep my printing neat and legible at the outset. I try to be organized and disciplined and set time aside in the evenings or early mornings to write down the names of those I've met and their stories. By the end of each trip, without fail, these little notebooks become shredded and dogeared, filled with bits and pieces of scribbled on papers and nearly illegible tidbits of information. Some, I admit, when I return home, make no sense looking back on them until somewhere, in the deep recesses of my memory, the meaning finally unlocks.
This afternoon, I grabbed a coffee and settled into my chair tucked in the corner of my room and have been re reading notes from all my trips to Zambia and Zimbabwe and South Africa. One thing I know is that each of the stories, either printed neatly or scribbled while on a "dancing road", reminds me that there is work to do. There are names of children and care workers in these books that are no longer with us and yet their memory is still alive in me when I look at their names in ink.
I can recollect our short times together whether it was working side by side in a field, on a home visit, in hospital or on a mat in a darkened room.
I just have to keep remembering and retelling.