Today I got to see children who were experiencing ultimate joy that came at no cost. As I drove Don to the airport for a flight to Cape Town, there was a powerful storm. Lightning was striking everywhere, the wind was whipping, and the rain was pummeling the dry, thirsty land. As we drove along, we noticed three young boys stripped down to their underwear dancing along the side of the road. Their faces were turned up to the rainy sky, their arms outstretched and swinging wildly, their legs skipping along, their feet splashing the water up, and they were all grinning from ear to ear. Don had to pull my attention back to my driving as I had meandered over into the opposing lane (Thank the Lord there was no oncoming traffic!). It is at times like this when I would love to be able to stop and capture the image on film. Yet Don had a plane to catch, the rain was really coming down hard, lightning was striking right next to us, and if I had stopped and gotten out with a camera, my presence would have ruined the magic of the moment and the boys would have stopped and stared at me wondering why a white woman was standing in front of them with a camera in the pouring rain. So we continued on.
After dropping Don off, the storm passed, and Will and I headed for home. As we traveled back the same road, we were amazed at how the road had now become a stream of water flowing along at a good pace. There really is not draining system here. The water just flows and collects in deeper areas. We came upon a huge group of boys (in the traditional Mozambican swim wear of their undies) out on a dirt soccer field that had become a knee- deep lake. They were kicking, splashing, and playing enthusiastically in the water. We then passed another group of children who had found a swimming pool that was created where the rain water had drained into one area. These children were all swimming and diving in the muddy water having the time of their lives. It was fun to just watch them play and be happy.
Today, we again found ourselves privileged to have a small glimpse into the lives of people who have nothing, yet have everything. I am humbled again.
As I recall these moments. I am reminded of a moment some years ago when our children were young. We lived on Blue Mountain Parkway in Harrisburg. A huge rain storm had ended and there was a steady stream of water rushing down our driveway. At their request, we let them go outside and play in this stream of water. I still can see their smiles and hear their laughter as they jumped, played and even lay down letting the water rush over their little bodies. What a fun time for them. This water was much cleaner than what the children today played in. I must admit that as I watched my kids have fun, all I could think of was how dirty they would be and the mess I would have on my hands when they were done. I also worried that maybe this water was unhealthy for them to play in. As it turns out, none of them caught any dreaded disease, and after a bath they were all squeaky clean. As for the water these children played in today, it was so dirty that we would not let our children even put their little toe in it! Yet these kids too will catch no disease and will be squeaky clean after their baths. My encouragement to you to end this blog… next time it storms, let your kids go out and find some water to jump and play in; even join them yourself. You may find yourselves enjoying the memory of a life time! And it won’t cost you a penny.