Friday, August 14, 2009


Yesterday Scott and I were sitting in the grass on the hospital grounds, when a small child (she looked about 6 years old) slowly approached, grinning from ear to ear. She extended her hand to Scott (the warm handshake is an important greeting between adults here, and children are taught to do it from very young), and when Scott took her hand, she beamed so much she looked like she was going to fall over from excitement.

She backed away, still grinning, returning to the group of children she had been standing with, who were all watching.

One by one, each of the other four girls in the group approached us for a handshake. The youngest who looked about 4, came first and was smiling nervously. The oldest two, who looked 12 and 14, came last, both solemn and graceful, kneeling to reach us, making stoic eye contact and shaking hands very professionally.

As each one approached, the rest of the group grinned and giggled in the background. It seemed like the most exciting event of their day. TWO mzungus!

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