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Sunday September 06, 2015


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© 2002 Kasisi Children's Home

 
Always appreciate what you have

We were blessed with the opportunity to visit a local orphanage called Kasisi that the Sardanis family does much to support. It is located on the outskirts of Lusaka, and managed by an order of Polish nuns, led by Sister Mariola. She greeted us dressed in her sky blue full nun's habit, with a wide smile and sense of powerful, caring determination that permeates throughout the home she and her sisters provide for the children.

The spirit of the place is a mix of children at play, who appreciate and respect the safe, clean place where they live, hope for the future, and sadness for the children that were loved and lost, not having survived the AIDS scourge or some other affliction. Hand-made banners dedicated to those children hang on the walls along with colourful artwork.

We learned that AIDS is especially prevalent in infants that come to Kasisi. We had a full tour followed by a songs sung by children ranging from toddlers to teens, all excited to show off for us. When songs were done and we could mix with the singers, we learned very quickly how the toddlers, especially, just wanted to be held.

How must it feel to not have the comfort and assurance of a loving parent's regular embrace? We had a long snaking parade in the courtyard with young ones in our arms, Margaret with a little girl in her pretty dress, me with a boy in each arm until they gave out, Olivia and Mike carrying as many as they could, and young Andre taking the whole thing in.

We left feeling we had given what love we could, meagre as it was compared to the need. As Olivia has written, the visit also “gave me the strength to not worry about little issues in life, and to always appreciate what you have.” It was our luck to be able to see and experience not only the great outdoors in this part of Africa, but also get to know the heart of some it's wonderful people.

Andre Bouffard


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