Jun 252015

Today I want to tell you about three of my friends, who have taught me that strength is an option that is given to all of us by God, but it is out choice to accept that strength and work with it to be happy and make our lives better. That strength is not how rich or wealthy you are with money, but how rich you are in your heart, and how you use that love in your heart to be happy.
“It is about how rich you are in your heart that matters to me, not what you look like on the outside.”
This is a quote from one of my closest friends here. I don’t want to post her name on here, but she has inspired me sooo much, I can’t even put that into words. She comes from a family that has no respect and love and spread lies about her so that she would not have a place to life. When she finally found a place to life here in Manamani, she did not have enough money to support her daughter here so she had to leave her daughter to grow up with her grandmother. She does not even have enough money to feed herself everyday, so she somehow learned to survive without eating for three days sometimes. She lives in a house that has two rooms, electricity is not guaranteed, and she sleeps on a piece of old foam with one blanket. There is no sink, shower, or toilet, or stove! She simply has a few power plugs, but only halve of them work. So Mashudu bought her a little camping stove which has turned her life around to the better a lot. I have tried to give her as much as I can in terms of food, clothes, shoes, and blankets, but it is still not enough. Right now her baby girl is staying with her and she was so scared and worried about someone breaking in that I had to spend the night with them to lend them comfort and keep then safe! That morning when I woke up after sleeping under one blanket, on one sponge with three people, and no electricity over the night, I felt the happiest I have in a long time. That might we were all there for each other and we woke up together the next morning and there was food we could eat. My friend is putting herself through this struggle so she can finish her education and get a job! She wants the job so she can take care of her baby girl so she will never have to experience what she is going through !!
The second friend I want to talk about is the teacher I have been working with the last couple of days. She has a 1 1/2 year old baby boy, who cries hysterically every time he sees a white person. But he actually got used to me and waves and smiles, but he makes sure to keep his safety distance!! Anyways she is only 24 years old but she absolutely loves working with little kids, even though she has not been paid once in the last 4 years! This is because the crèche’s priority is on getting enough food for all the kids, and then the salaries get sorted out! She still loves it and smiles everyday. Her boyfriend, and father of her child, lives in Johannesburg where he has a job, so that he can support his family. They don’t get to see each other much at all because they are both always busy. Still she is grateful for what she has including her beautiful baby boy. She has invited me to make bricks with her over the weekend to try and introduce me to as much Venda culture as possible. That includes lots and lots of food! (:
The third friend I want to talk about, I see him as family, he is 17 and in Grade 11 at high school. But he cannot wait to go and see the world and study at university. He has never travelled very far from Mamamani, but he said his first stop will be New Zealand. The reason I’m writing about him is that he is so young yet he is so mature. In everything that he does he always always always makes sure that everyone around him is safe, has food, and is happy. This is so simple yet so powerful and something that our society seriously lacks. Just simply being there for one another and showing that you care not with money but with the little things, it is so important. Currently he is working on a science project to help his entire Manamani community. He and a friend are working on finding cheaper and easier ways to generate energy, or ways to do things using less energy. Their aim is to win nationals as they then will be provided with food, money, and opportunities and recognition to study at good universities. He always cares for other people in his community especially those who need it.

These three people have so little yet they give so much, because they are strong. They chose to be strong so that they may help others be strong. I am very thankful that I’m their friend, and that I was allowed to meet them and learn from them. (:

  One Response to “Strength is a Choice”

  1. Hi Lisa
    WOW!!! I love reading your blogs!! You have done & learnt so much already in one week! I am so proud of you! I am sure you are living up to your name of Phumudso & bringing comfort to all the children & adults that you meet. I am longing to know what those boys said & did when you gave them the photos & letters from Mushudo’s Mum!
    Look after yourself,Love Carrie


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