Sometimes you are sitting on the side of the road in a small village in the middle of nowhere surrounded by breathtaking tropical mountains waiting for the one taxi per day that comes through to take you back to another village where you will take another car filled with too many people and you have to wonder not only about how you got yourself to where you currently are but also about just how little it takes to be happy.
Colin and I have recently been reflecting on the very fact that we are here, as with each passing day two things become apparent to us:
1) We are very far from home and everything is different.
2) This feels shockingly normal.
And normal as it feels, there’s still something life affirming and exhilarating about standing outside in a torrential downpour, cooking plantains like a native, and successfully finding the right tro tro to take you home.
We went on expedition number two yesterday, which involved a trip to visit a school for the deaf and a short hike to a breathtaking waterfall. We had two small girls who were traveling to the school stay with us the night before we left, and we helped them get there safely. It occurred to me while playing with them that though they could not talk or hear, they retained perhaps the most beautiful of all sound-making abilities: laughter. They got a huge kick out of climbing all over us and playing with our fans and seeing pictures of themselves. They laughed hysterically when they saw his picture.
After we visited their school we headed off to Wli Falls, perhaps the only place we have been in which we actually felt a semblance of cool air, and we let ourselves get bombarded by the intense “mist” coming off the falls. Few things make me happier than nature, and I think I actually started to annoy Colin with my incessant expressions of joy!
This morning we were lucky to meet a little boy with CP. He goes by Courage. We took him to a limb fitting center where he got measures for some equipment that will help him learn to walk! He had the sweetest smile and was crawling all over the place, so we could tell he was eager to get on the move. His equipment should be ready in a few weeks!
Tomorrow and Thursday we will be visiting more communities to meet and assess more children. Being able to help even one child today has been cherishable beyond words. His equipment has a price, but walking is priceless, and that’s the best gift I can think of giving.