Monday, May 28, 2012

Picnic in Choma

I had the most humbling experience yesterday at Choma. We went to the markets and the gift shop at the museum as we have done the past four years. A couple of the supervisors go to the grocery deli to buy roasted chicken and chips, drinks, dessert for a picnic. I generally buy an extra meal in case anyone gets hungry and if no one eats it, I give it to the guard at the front gate for his lunch. This year as we were cleaning up from the picnic, I noticed a shabbily dressed older woman carefully watching the trash can. I assumed that she was going to raid the trash after we left, so I held out the extra food and offered it to her. She gave me the traditional handshake and slight curtesy that many Zambians give as a very polite greeting, then she got down on her knees to thank me. All I could say was, no, no please get up and of course she could not understand me. She did get up but still bowed several times. She did not ask for money but was willing to dig in my discarded trash for food. All I did was offer her the equivalent of a $3.00 plate of chicken and potatoes and she wanted to get on her knees. We are rich beyond our needs and we need to remember to get on our knees more!


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