Today was a really good day. I have been blessed, not only today, but within my life in general with the healing power of the human spirit.
Yesterday was our first time in the township of Delft. We spent time gardening at Africa Tikkun and then ended our morning in the townships by touring the hospital in Delft. It was quite a humbling experience to see so many sick people waiting to be seen by a doctor with really no promise of getting that opportunity anytime in the near future. Although nobody is turned away at the hospital... the truth is that there simply is not enough people or resources to help all the people who are in need immediately. Despite being exposed to these conditions, I found that I did not experience the emotional struggle that my fellow classmates were experiencing. This reaction puzzled me. Furthermore, I stuggled with even being able to be present in the moment I was in. I found myself reverting to memories of my past... not immediate memories, but more distant ones.. ones that I have long since put away.
As the day went on, I really began to struggle with my lack of emotion at the hospital and the longing I was feeling for the distant past. I tried to fulfill this longing by conjuring up my more immediate memories. This past year of my life has been an extraordinary time. Since I've moved to the Twin Cities... I've truly felt like I belong. But yesterday, I could not conjure up that feeling of belonging that has been in my soul over the past year. I felt totally disconnected with all that makes me happy. This was not a good feeling. I was scared that I had somehow lost my connection to my life back home.
Today... I feel completely different. I can see now that perhaps these struggles with my memories had to do with my personal coping mechanisms that I may have used to block out the sad things that I witnessed at the hospital. Furthermore, I not only rid myself of the negative feelings that I had yesterday... but I had a very happy day.
I think that I owe this happy day to the power of the human spirit. We once again spent time in Delft and began our morning by gardening. But after we were finished with that, we actually got to go out to some homes in Delft and interact with the people. Although these homes were in poor condition and could bring anybody sadness, I did not feel sad. I didn't feel sad because the people that we encountered were not sad. We got to play with the kids of the township and they were so vibrant and so full of life. It was impossible to not feel some of that fullness myself.
It is the vibrant lives of these youth that have reminded me why it is that I have felt so connected to my journey in Minneapolis. I am reminded what it is that I want to do with my life and why I have felt that I am where I belong. I can feel my connection to my life back home once again. And I owe this rejuvenation of my own spirit to the power of the human spirit of the people that I was blessed to interact with today.
Perhaps this idea of ubuntu... the idea that a person is a person through persons... is really on to something. I am what I am today because of the people that I've encountered.... this even includes the people that I've encountered today. I may not know the names of those kids... but they will always be a part of my being. The bit of human spirit that they lent me today will always be with me in someway.