Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Humble Pie

Today I was working in one of the projects and came across a little boy that looked about 8 years old.  He had a mattress upright on the floor beside him and was looking up a flight of stairs.

“Do you need help?” I asked.

He nodded.

My first thought was that he wanted to ride the mattress down the stairs.  That’s the sort of thing I did at his age.

We carried the mattress up two flights of stairs to the roof.  Outside I asked him, “Is here ok?”

No, he wanted me to keep going.  Maybe he wanted to set it up in the sunshine so he could lie on it with the other kids?

We reached the far wall and he tilted it upwards to that other side faced the sun.  I could see a wet spot I hadn’t known was there.

We went back down two floors.  At the bottom a toddler was a waiting – presumably the one who had wet the bed.  The little boy picked him up and walked off down the hall.

It was a humbling experience, to say the least.

When I was 8 years old I could barely clean up after myself, let alone for a baby.


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