When we first arrived at Matanda the village children were bashful. Many of the small children hid from view and yet others would reluctantly surrender a smile. One young boy, about 9 years old, was primary caretaker of his sister who was about 1 year old. This boy carried his sister on his back and every time the baby would look at us she would cry. She was very scared and hid in his back. The children were in the middle of their lessons and so we stayed in the perimeter of the building watching and helping where we could. We had a secret though that was going to be a shoe in. :D lollipops!
We had lollipops for everyone! The children had never had these and so we waited until after their meal and recess and then the teacher called them back and they sat in rows looking at us with anticipation and uncertainty and then Barbara and Sandi told them we came with a treat. That peeked their curiousity - even the crying baby stopped to watch somehow sensing something exciting was about to happen. Sandi took out a lollipop, unwrapped it, and put it in her mouth and with a grin from ear-to-ear she said, "YUMMY!" As I watched their little faces nearly every child licked their lips and their eyes were big and they were starting to smile too. Sandi told them that everyone was going to get one and then we handed them out. (watch the video now. :D)
Isn't it a wonderful thing that JOY is totally FREE! We can make such a huge difference in someone's day or even in their life if we will be open to the needs of others. The adult's & children's unembarrassed expressions of joy as they sucked their lollipop for the first time was a sound that is forever embedded in my memory. The exuberance with which they sucked those lollipops, and their need to savor each and every moment was a JOY to watch.
Sometimes all it takes is a smile, a warm hug, or a lollipop. You never know what path someone is on and just how deeply your gesture effects their very soul and alters their day and they learn to just let go and feel a moment of happiness.
JOY! it is contagious.....
Peace and hugs,