One day when I was in Haiti we visited this place that served kids who were either â€śinfected or impacted by AIDS.â€? Essentially these kids were orphaned because their parents had died of AIDS or they were HIV-infected themselves and their families couldnâ€™t take care of them.
They actually had pretty nice digs as they were housed in a former compound of dictator Duvalier and when we got there they were about to have recess. An impromptu soccer game broke out and I along with another person in my group joined in. Although we added marginally to the quality of play, and in fact one extra person on each team made it harder to play in the small courtyard, they were happy to have us and included us in the game.
The amazing thing was that there were a couple of times when the game was halted for some other event or presentation and when the game started up, the kids insisted that we join in again. Now believe me they could have easily started up again without us and we would have been happy and completely understood that this was their game and that we were interlopers. But they didnâ€™t. They insisted we join them and wouldnâ€™t start up until we got back onto the courtyard pitch.
Thinking back on that day it really hit me that although we were in Haiti to support these kids, in fact they were supporting us. Their lives are vastly different than ours -- practically different universes from my kids where their biggest concern is that I wonâ€™t allow them to access the internet from their cell phones. But their woes didnâ€™t matter, all that mattered is that they were playing soccer and that they had a couple of other guys who wanted to play.