My Friend in South Africa

Totally non-event related but when I received an email from a college friend I had to share with everyone her passion for change in our world. She currently is serving the people of Mzansi in South Africa with the Peace Corps. I applaud Charlene aka "Giggles" for her compassion and dedication. More power to us all. Enjoy this essay that Charlene wrote.

This I Believe

I believe in living…living a life that is like no other. A life that is unique and memorable, one that no one else can match. I believe in getting up early on a cold DC winter morning before any of my neighbours have awoken to play in the soft, newly fallen snow to make snow angels and snowmen, to play like a child would. I believe in walking in flippers across town not only because my sandals were stolen while swimming in the municipal pool, but just to see the reactions on people’s faces as I giggle loudly “flipper-footed” during the 10-minute walk home. I believe in attending my younger sister’s percussion and clarinet recitals, even if it means flying across country time and time again. I believe in being financially independent and not having to rely on anyone else for money or necessities. I believe in taking up exciting opportunities that come across my path, even if it means having to resign from a job or leave my home.

I believe in playing in the salty, muddy waters of the Dead Sea and hopping on a long-distance bus to travel across Mexico for 23 hours to visit a dear friend going through chemotherapy. I believe in taking the time to uphold promises, to do the best that I can in the things I do and to work at maintaining friendships with people who show me through their actions that they care for me.

I believe in doing things that are worthwhile, such as thanking people for even the smallest things, greeting everyone from the man who helps me carry fruit out of Fruit and Veg. City to the deputy principal at the high school in which I work. I believe in incorporating music and dance into my life skills’ lessons to make learning fun and interactive for my students. I believe in taking time to enjoy things, to take out a friend for dinner just because, to laugh loud even at the corniest jokes and to wake up early on a Sunday morning to walk my dog 13Ks just because I know she would love every minute of it.

I believe in making the most out of my life through my experiences, through education, through learning new languages, and through every single person that I meet. Life really is precious and I believe I am here to live every minute of it in the fullest way that I possibly can.

I believe too, Charlene. Thank you for your promises...your friend...Cicely