Monday, June 7, 2010

Caught in the Rain

Thursday afternoon I played soccer with the kids at Crane School. They were running all over the place and had about 20 kids on each team. Somehow they were able to keep all of their own teammates straight, but I still have yet to figure out how. Their precious soccer pitch was an open dirt patch next to an abandoned building. Chunks of brick marked the goal posts and bare feet pounded the ground as a herd of boys chased after the soccer ball. In a matter of minutes the horizon changed from a picturesque blue sky with white, fluffy clouds to one with dark clouds foreshadowing a storm. I took refuge under the overhang of that abandoned building. The boys did not stop the game, even for an instant. Water continued to pour from an invisible spickett in the sky. Each quarter sized drop hit the ground with such determination that indentations remained in the rich, red soil. Before I had the chance to take in the power of the rain, I looked up to see fifty elementary school aged boys playing soccer in the hammering rainstorm. All had shed their shirts and embraced the warm, summer downpour. One particularly focused boy kicked the ball so hard that his yellow rosary spun all the way around his neck. With each intense stride his rosary bounced against his chest. It was almost as if God himself drove this boy’s passion to keep the ball in the possession of his team. After a successful round of passes resulting in a goal, the boys came together to congratulate each other. Genuine compliments were exchanged between everyone, even the littlest boy who was simply tagging along. The storm itself lasted only for a few short minutes, but the image of pure happiness and comradery between children has forever been committed to my memory.

This kind of happiness and success is attributed entirely to one’s priorities. The relationship one has with a fellow human being is far more important than the task at hand. It is my responsibility to the world to establish lasting relationships with everyone I interact with. They need to feel needed and important in order to achieve success. And, this mentality continues to the world of development. In my mind true development is about people and relationships, not necessarily how much is accomplished on a timetable of tasks.

This first month has been really interesting for me. All the revelations and insights I write about on this blog are not new discoveries. They are things I’ve been taught or understood since I was a child, but the situation I am in is enabling me to rediscover simple truths about life. So often we, as humans, fall into a recurring cycle of life and lose sight of the important things like establishing relationships or simply taking time to laugh. When that cycle is interrupted, whether it is by one’s own device or an unwanted change in habitat, it allows a person to reflect, readapt, and rediscover life and all of the beauties that come with it. Our lives are a never-ending process of learning, but at some point in one’s given lifetime, there is period where you learn the same simple truths that have been recognized since the beginning of time. That is the amazing thing about human life. The consistency that resides in ever changing nations is what makes the world keep going around.

Picture 1: boys at crane school

Picture 2: soccer in the rain (photo credit to scott)

Picture 3: nicole, me and angie with aberforth wilberforce!