Sunday, February 8, 2009
One Day Late!
The pictures above are from this past Saturday when my roommates and I accompanied Baba Benji with his delivery of food parcels. It was a gorgeous day and we wanted to be outside (or in a car with the fresh air blowing, shall I say). Baba usually makes his deliveries on Friday afternoons, but was held up at a meeting and had to make them on Saturday morning. We picked up the 8th grade Zulu girl, Mata, that helps and we were off. We did the same route last week so we recognized some of the people and some of the houses. The same boy that was waiting for the parcel along a dirt path was there again, but this time, he really got to me.
We asked Baba how they know when he's coming when he's a day late. He said he called them (or someone that could let them know) that it would be sometime on Saturday. However, by nature of the rural places and scheduling conflicts, he cannot give them an exact time. It's no trouble for those families to whom we pull up and drop off at their door, but that young boy, he is different. He was waiting on the same rock in the same place as last time. Baba said he had probably been waiting in that spot for a few hours. I just still can't get over the responsibility that some of these children have. He cannot be more than 11 or 12 and he is the member of his family who is responsible for picking up the food that may sustain them all for the week. When he came up to the car, I smiled and he smiled "the most amazing smile you've ever seen in your life" back at me. I took another picture as he walked away, food in hand, because it was truly powerful for me to see.