Reflections on 2013: Seth DiemondJanuary 8, 2014 4:46 pm
New Year’s is a special time. It provides every person with a chance to reflect honestly about the year that was, and to plan for the year to come. Every year, like most people, I take a few moments to evaluate my life, make corrections, and to reflect on what I am thankful for. This year, however, was special. This year I was able to reflect not only on my own life, but on the lives of the 43 amazing girls who have blessed me by allowing me to join their family.
My reflections on 2013, as they apply to the girls:
*These 43 girls are a family. When I stroll down to the girls’ home at 7:30AM to make sure we have everything we need for the day, I see evidence of their love for one another as they work like a family on morning chores- Rose sweeping the yard, Neema Mdogo doing the dishes, and Kulwa and Eliza cooking breakfast. Despite sisterly squabbles, it is hard to not think to myself “these girls are a family- in every sense of the word.”
*These 43 girls are becoming well-rounded, multi-talented, skilled individuals. On my morning walk over to school- through the girls’ home gate and down the dusty road that leads to Joseph and Mary school, I am awed by what I see on a daily basis. Elizabeth and Pelu (pictured on left) harvesting mountains of green peppers in their garden. Liku, Vero, and Neema Msafiri planting beans and corn before school. Pili making soap in her workshop. These are skills that serve the girls in the present and will continue to serve them in the future (and skills that I certainly do not have).
*These 43 girls (and the other 250 students) are becoming well-educated Tanzanian and global
citizens. I walk over to the school with Abby, slowly pushing Vene in her new wheel chair. Ahead of me I see the morning assembly starting. The students are speaking English. One class is giving a “morning talk” in which each student briefly explains something he has recently learned in school: counting to 100; the basics of first-aid; photosynthesis; food groups; Tanzanian independence; multi-party democracy; environmental protection. Again, I am awed by how dynamic these students are. They are all motived and excited to learn. They all love school. And, most importantly, they all want to make themselves and their country a better place.
*These 43 girls get the care and medical attention that they need, when they need it. Over the course of these past months, I have escorted many girls to the hospital for various ailments- Malaria, Typhoid, UTI, bumped head, etc. In this family, they get quality medical treatment and, after a dose of medicine, an Orange Fanta, a Big Bomb Lolly-pop, and a hug from one of their matrons, they are usually all smiles.
Me- and more importantly these 43 girls- are thankful. We are thankful for JBFC. We are thankful for our many guests, volunteers (currently Elisa, Travis, Kelly, and Peyton), and supporters. We are thankful for our staff. We are thankful for Chris. We are thankful for Melinda. Without all of these people, we would not have our family. We would not have these skills (I still don’t). We would not have this education. And we wouldn’t have anyone to take us to the doctor when we bump a head or scrape a knee. We wouldn’t have this future.
My wish for this new year and every new year to come: these 43 girls use these skills, this education, and this family to better themselves and the world around them. I am certain and confident that they will.
Seth Diemond is JBFC’s Campus Director.
This post was written by Mainsprings