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Humbling Hope

May 29, 2012
Grandpa takes a picture

Grandpa showed up insisting this was his ‘take picture thing.’ I posed for him and he pulled half the roll out before he found it to show me. The other kid is just a big sweetheart who stands around and smiles. Yep. Just like this.

Today was a long day at school.  US AID’s team was finally coming to talk about their EHELD program and the associated camps.  Thank god!  I thought we’d missed our chance.  They passed through on Monday heading to Yekepa and we’d arranged to hold the presentation after recess.

Well…. Ryan burst into the library at 1:00 and said they had to reach Zwedru, could we do the presentation right now?  I forced a smile and said ok, but my heart sank.  All the 12th graders would come two hours too late!  They agreed to let me talk to them when they arrived and sign them up, disappointing but agreeable.  They crammed the entire 10th and 11th grade classes, over 200 people, into one classroom and it was shoulder to shoulder standing room only, save for the six foot circle left for the presenters.

Large banners were hastily taped over the chalkboard and a solemn silence fell.  I’d never seen a presentation like this at our school before and I doubt they had either.  Two of my 12th graders just happened to be there and every time I caught Emeka’s eye it was twinkling.  Most of them had no chance of being selected but simply having the opportunity to see this presentation was priceless, having someone bother to come to our school and talk to them, to tell them they could be leaders was huge.  I know I talk about hope a lot, but that’s what today was about.

At the end of the presentation they took questions and Shelton stood up a little indignantly, “So who exactly is choosing?” he said and we all knew what he meant.  Was this real or just another pretty face for money business?  They turned and pointed to me, “Rebekah will work with the administration to make the recommendation.”  The students nodded.  I am their symbol of hope, fairness… change.  It is humbling.

After the presentation I signed up 110 interested students during a torrential downpour.  We get to pick 20.  Jesus.  There are too many good ones.

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

~ Samuel Smiles

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One Comment leave one →
  1. blondie permalink
    June 22, 2012 2:25 pm

    “Was this real or just another pretty face for money business?”
    A question I wonder how often some of the children and people there must ponder when they see someone come through.
    At least they know you’re the real deal. ❤

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