His name is Mwangi and he is from a village called Kajiado in Maasi land Kenya. Mwangi did not speak English but he decided that while I was teaching at his school I was his adoped Mzungu or white person. He followed me everywhere. Even turning up to classes in the afternoon when baby class had finished.
Language was no barrier to the things we could learn from each other. Mwangi was an orphan. He had lost his parents and older sister to AIDs. This meant that he was being cared for by extended family. Mwangi had never seen colouring pencils or photos of computers, microwaves , even a bathroom. The things that we take for granted in our lives here in Australia. But he could draw what he saw in those pictures. I was presented with a perfect copy of a coloured cup from one of the photos.
This image is of Mwangi examining cut out dolls we did with the ‘baby class’, Mwangi spent at least 30 minutes just seeing how it was made. But having no scissors or paper, this was going to be impossible for him to do. Saying good bye to him was very difficult. He did not understand that I was going far away, to another land
I hope that this picture will remind you to remember the paper dolls in our lives. To make use of the things the we have available and not waste one moment on the bigger things that are out of our control.
Somethings just need to be.
A saying that was taught to me was to “bring nothing with you and to take nothing away, this is Africa”. I guess it is time to ask of yourselves, what do you see, how does the world influence how you feel and what are the barriers that stop you from achieving the things that are important. Do you take time to examine the ‘paper dolls’, and make do with what you have in your life.