Life of Luxury

Back to reality and the life of luxury to which I have grown accustomed.

I learned several things about myself from my travels around Kenya some years ago: I am not a missionary, and small luxuries are mandatory.

Hot water on demand, paved roads, and commodes to sit upon are not frills in my book, but rather they are basic necessities. I have gained a great deal of respect for those hardy souls who move to foreign countries and accept the hardships of limited electricity, limited toilet paper, and unlimited potholes! 

A friend once said his idea of “roughing it” was a room on the second floor of a Holiday Inn with black and white TV. I have grown to understand those sentiments. 

I would not change a thing about my trip…well, maybe just one or two things revolving around cold showers and a mosquito netting. It was a marvelous adventure and certainly mind and soul broadening. 

The people of Kenya are beautiful, friendly, warm, accepting, and eager to greet you. The children wave indiscriminatingly. They do not have the fear or non-interest that we seem to see in American children. They want to shake your hand, hug you, touch you, and almost bathe in your smile. Here they are, living in the worst slum conditions imaginable and yet, they are glad to welcome and embrace you. 

My heart swelled to see the enthusiasm the youngsters showed for school, for learning, and for performing in front of their peers and strangers. 

Here they were, crammed into a two-story shack covered by a tin roof, with tin and chicken wire walls, five kids sharing a bench desk with one book between them, and I’m wondering where to find water that is safe to drink. 

They play in the dirt paths with a ball that is covered with mud, dirt and sewage, and they laugh, giggle, run and kick with the gusto found in any playground. They are kids, after all, and they haven’t yet learned  they will face major struggles and minor assistance ahead. Today, they are just doing what children throughout the world should be doing—playing. 

When you look at the conditions facing millions of people, one wonders how to make a difference in these young lives. How can we extend the average age? How do we help provide water to every 9×9 “home” that houses up to 10 people? How do we provide sanitary conditions that will help to ensure longer and healthier lives? 

I haven’t a clue as to how to tackle these problems, but I know that much needs to be done. Thank God good, dedicated, and clever people are working daily to improve lives across the world. 

So, I will do my little bit from the comfort of my living room chair, and praise people and organizations that see solutions and give hope to the millions that don’t have a living room or a chair. 

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