Monday, March 10, 2008

Out of Africa



Today I received a letter from my sister Floride, who lives with her family in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now Floride is not my sister by birth, but fate has joined us through Women for Women, a magnificent organization which allows me to lend a bit of assistance while Floride gets back on her feet.


My daughter and I were doing our share of ranting and raving . The present administration and our New York governor, Elliot Spitzer, give us plenty of fuel for that fire. We know how blessed we are to live in a country where we can protest and usually no one will come to our home in the middle of the night to murder us or carry us into the jungle. The little I do to help one family have a better life in a country so far away from us geographically and politically can have a ripple effect. We teach our children by example for better or worse. I feel honored to know brave and beautiful Floride. Her strength gives me hope and inspiration.




I visited Africa many years ago. There I met some wonderful gracious people and learned a few lessons about how Americans are perceived by our neighbors. I travelled alone so conversation was easy and candid. It's the old story, if you could see yourself as others do you probably would be surprised. It was a lesson I did not forget.






Summer 1985



Africa, my soul

lush and turbulent, you call to me

proud and diverse, overflowing

with people and promise



Lush and turbulent, you call to me

My dreams of you disturb my sleep

with people and promise

so ancient, so new



My dreams of you disturb my sleep

leaving me excited yet afraid

with people and promise

so many perish needlessly



Leaving me excited yet afraid

proud and diverse, overflowing

So many perish needlessly

Africa, my soul
vt






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