Yup, I’m back in Tanzania.
No matter where in the world you have some kids and a ball, you will have a soccer game. And for an hour, it doesn’t matter that they sleep in a house with a dirt floor, or their skin is covered with an infection because they are living with HIV/AIDS.
Saturday was one of the joyful monthly meetings of Pamoja Project families, here to talk about life, have some juice, play a bit, and collect food support. Some kids and the balls we provide immediately took to the field. Others excitedly accepted the bottles of bubbles I had brought from home.
For me, just hanging out with these folks is enough. Some I have known for years and years, and we excitedly embrace and look into each other’s eyes- because we don’t share language. Others are new to our group, but when they see I can be trusted they begin to shyly open up.
I discuss climate change with Yaseni, an articulate high school senior who has seen the reports of the impending hurricane in Florida. Rehema and Queen, aged 8 and 9, want to practice their English and put me through the paces of “tall, short, fat, thin”- complete with hand gestures.
I love this.
You who are part of Pamoja’s efforts already know the lesson that we are they, and they are us. I carry you with me this week.