I went next door last night to deliver a piece of mail that was dropped at my house by mistake. Wasn’t expecting to stay more than a minute or two-Kati and her girls were cleaning house, getting ready for company. Her oldest girl was wearing a wig to make the job more fun.
An hour later we’re still talking, laughing and crying over pictures.
Kati is an amazing woman. Twenty years ago she was in the Peace Corps, traveling all over Africa making friends and teaching kids.
This sweet single mother of two-a quiet, humble, bookish, gal showed me pictures of her and her friends in Dumibia where the women in the tribe took them in and made them family.
We laughed ourselves silly at the pictures of twenty-something year old Kati and her friends completely naked, except for rags tied around their waists and the coat of red mud that started at the tops of their heads all the way to the tops of their feet.
In one picture a lady had tied her baby to Kati’s back. The juxtaposition of Kati’s blond hair and brilliant blue eyes against the dried mud and that sweet baby’s face was beautiful. Tear worthy.
Then we were crying at a memory Kati shared. They were on a bus and traffic had stopped, her friend noticed a man lying on the side of the road-too sick to move. Her friend got out of the bus and sat beside him. When she realized how close to death the stranger was-she fed him candy and laid beside him.
Her kids-ten and thirteen years old-had never heard these stories or seen the pictures.
I am so grateful to have been there when they heard them for the first time.
It was pure magic.