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Sunday September 06, 2015


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If you want to find the spring

Kasia

‘If you want to find the spring,
Go up, upstream.
Fight your way, search, be persistent.
The spring must be somewhere.
Where is the spring? … Where is the spring? ….
Silence …’
(St. John Paul II)


Africa, voluntary service… - I had been thinking about this for a very long time. I remember being asked as a secondary school student about my plans for life. And I answered that I dreamt about going to Africa as a volunteer. At that time, however, I was beginning a new, completely different stage of life. Life had come full circle. My dream had come back. Last year’s Lent and the retreat about Moses conducted by father A. Szustak kindled my great desire and helped me to make the decision to go.

Kasisi- one would think it is a place like many others in Zambia. It is unique, however, as there is the orphanage run by the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Poland. And I spent three extraordinary months there as Kasisi is an unusual place. It is the place full of love. Not only does it teach you love, but also it gives love to everyone.

At the very beginning, I could not understand why there are so many orphans in this place and why so many children do not have their own families. My heart was crying when I was going past the babies’ rooms and I could see so many cots there. I could not understand why the babies did not have their mums next to them and why not everyone could have their own family.

I will probably never find the answers to these questions, but one thing is certain- the children were extremely lucky to find their place in Kasisi. One would say they were given the second life. If it hadn’t been for the orphanage, they would probably not be alive now or they would have to live in the streets. Here, in Kasisi, they have an excellent protection, as the sisters are extremely caring about them.

I really appreciate the sisters’ work here. They have a very hard task to do. Not only do they have to provide the children with food and clothes, but also they must bring the children up. And this is not easy. Every child has its own history, everyone suffered a lot. You must have an individual attitude to every one of them.

Many times, I wondered where the children take the willingness to life from, how it is possible that they smile. In my opinion, every one of them experiences life in their own, unique way. Kasisi is a chance for them. A chance for a better life. Let us pray for the sisters and the children. They need it so much.

A typical day starts early at 6 o’clock with a Holy Mass. Then, after breakfast, everyone starts doing his or her activities. My duties include helping children to learn. We learn how to write, paint, draw and count. Easy, though the duties seem, they are not. Here I understood how difficult a job of a teacher is. The children were very eager to acquire new skills. I was glad to see the 5 or 6 –year boys who were happy to come to the meeting with me. Once the boys started doing their tasks, they carry on until everything is finished. Sometimes it is difficult to communicate but we do not give up.

Every day is for me like a lesson of how to be patient. I learn to acquire this virtue every day. When you work with the kids, you must be extremely patient. I have learnt my lesson that it is not important what I am going to do with the children, but to what extent they can perceive what I intend to teach them. From day to day I am more convinced that I can learn more from the children than they can learn from me. The lesson I learn here cannot be learnt from any book.
There are some moments, when I keep wondering whether I am able to help the children somehow. Sometimes it is difficult to observe any effects of the job we do. But what is important is the presence of the other person, a small talk, hugging or even silence experienced together. And, the awareness that the other person is next to you.

Sometimes you notice that something did not work out and moments of doubts appear. But I do realize that the failure must be left behind and I have to try once more. Every day is a chance to start everything from the very beginning. It’s like the sun, which sets every day to rest and to rise in the morning with new power, energy and radiance for others. Every day is a chance to do more good and overcome your weaknesses.

In the morning and in the evening I help with dispensation of medications and with wounds dressing. If I had been told that I would be helping with such things, I would have never imagined it. Life teaches you how to be humble and courageous and how to overcome your inhibitions.

Time spent with the youngest in the yard- the special place in the orphanage for them is particularly joyful. Although they do not talk much, we are able to communicate. They remembered my name and everyone calls me in their own, unique way. I am glad that we have found common ground. And despite the fact that sometimes it seems that you don’t have enough hands to deal with everything and after having played with the children you might be completely dirty, the possibility of spending time with them is a really pleasant experience.

Children in Kasisi teach me many things. They show me what the most important in life is. They teach me to enjoy every day of life regardless of what experiences of this day are. They make me remember that what is the most important in life is love, especially the love you can experience in simple, everyday activities. They teach me that you should always smile and never should give up. They seem to confirm that as Blessed Mother Teresa from Calcutta said: ‘It doesn’t matter what we do and how much we do. What matters is how much we love while doing’.

Now I know it is worth to have dreams and it is worth fulfilling them. I encourage everyone to do what the heart tells you, because this brings happiness. Even when you have to overcome your weaknesses and inhibitions, when you experience misunderstandings and have to face numerous obstacles, it is worth to take action as what you have in your heart may bring you happiness.

Blessed Mother Teresa from Calcutta encourages us to do this saying:
‘Life is a chance, capture it.
Life is delight, try it out.
Life is a dream, make it real.
Life is a challenge, face it.
Life is a duty, fulfill it.
Life is valuable, appreciate it.
Life is richness, protect it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, discover it
Life is promise, fulfill it.
Life is an anthem, sing it out.
Life is fight, undertake it.
Life is tragedy, comprehend it.
Life is an adventure, experience it.
Life is happiness, live to deserve it
Life is life, protect it.’

 

Kasia Zych


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