and now, my postcard to you is coming from South Africa.
My other home. The place my kids tell me they are homesick for - and as I stand in our old neighborhood surrounded by the people we love, I echo their longing. So I'll make the most out of my two weeks here.
Today, I visited Samkelo at his new school. He showed me all his workbooks and how much he's learned (and improved) in just the few short weeks since the new school year has begun. I absolutely love his teacher - and how much she believes in this boy (and seriously, every single one of her students). Then Samkelo and I snuck away for a movie about a dolphin, and pizza that we could barely eat because we were so stuffed with popcorn!
Sweet things Samkelo said today::
When I asked him to try and remember his first day of his new school to tell me about it, he sighed and said "Oh Palesa, I just remember it was like a dream come true. All the children were there around the red table and I only knew three of them. But then I was looking around at everyone and thinking what a lucky boy I am to go to this private school that is so nice. I think there are many good days coming. And do you know what? There HAVE been so many good days! "
"I have decided that I do not like lions. Not one bit. Do you remember when we went to the lion and rhino park last time you came to visit? And that big lion JUMPED at me! He wanted to eat my hands and I was too fast. It's a good thing I was faster than he was. Then you would have had to take me to the hospital and I would have had no hands all because of that lion! And then how would I do so well on my schoolwork? "
He's decided that he is going to save half of all his money so he can buy a plane ticket to the US in 2020. When he gets there, he will run a small business and build a house on the beach with a movie theatre inside. I can come any time I want and he will make me popcorn. That is, if he still remembers me because 2020 is a long time away and how old will I be then? Oh, that is so very old. Maybe I won't be alive then. Maybe HE won't be alive then because, you know, 8 years, that is such a long time.
and then there was this conversation::
"Palesa, who taught you how to drive?"
"My mom did - a long time ago"
"Oh, your mother must be very nice to teach you to drive. Of course she is nice. She is the one who you are like. Is your mother beautiful? Yes, I know she is beautiful because she is your mother and you are beautiful. Palesa, do you look in the mirror every day and know that you are beautiful? You must never listen to any other voices that tell you something bad about yourself. Only the ones that speak the truth that you are beautiful every day no matter what any one else says."
Seriously. Love. This. Kid.