Saturday, July 16, 2011


My most memorable moment from today will be with a little boy who reached up to me as soon as I got out of the tap-tap at the very first stop. It was in district 17. The worst of the worst. He wanted me to pick him up so badly and I did. It wasn't until I had been holding him for several minutes when I realized he had a crippled foot. To me it looked like it had been badly burned. Not only was it terribly deformed but the scarring ran up his shin. Just as a noticed this, several other children started pointing at his foot and talking a mile a minute. Of course I could not understand a word they were saying but they were very persistent. I asked Fan Fan one of our interpreters to come over and help me. He told me his name was Raybeen (spelling it exactly as it sounded). I would have guessed he was about 3 or 4 years old but it turned out he was 8. He stepped into a fire. The other children were asking me to get him crutches so he could walk better. They insisted I take a picture of it so I could get him help. I can't begin to imagine the pain this child ... and his mother,who I later met, must have gone through with out being able to get any medical attention for him. He never spoke to me until the very end. Our team took a walk away from the truck to take in a heartbreaking view near the ocean (not pretty as it rightly should be) Many of the children came with so I carried Raybeen up the hill so he too could come. When we reached the top we began singing songs with the children. Not Raybeen. He just observed. So when everyone began clapping with a song I began clapping my one free hand with his hand and kind of dancing with him. Suddenly I looked at his face and there was this one single tear running down his cheek. I would like to think I brought him some moments of joy in his very painful life. As we were walking back down the hill he said his first and only one word over and over and was pointing at me. I asked someone what he was saying ... "pretty". Sue

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