money and love

March 9, 2012

Am I unfeeling? Or just jaded? Perhaps a bit of both . . . but for whatever reason, I was less than convinced by the toothless lady who dashed out of the store as we passes. Lured by the sight of several foreigners, she began shouting “Money! Money! Money!” And then, after we seemed unready to respond as she intended, she became more specific, telling us even the amount she expected us to give. I was unfamiliar with the word she spoke in Dari, but another man we passed kindly translated for her, interjecting that we were to give “Five dollars.” A small enough amount to ask for, but enough to have her following us for 3 more blocks, waiting outside as we went into the shops. She even displayed an expanded English repertoire, alternating “Money!” with “I love you!” I commented to my companions that somehow I suspected there must be a more convincing way to express one’s love for another.
Thinking about it a bit further, it did strike me as odd, considering the fact that there is indeed very little affection felt towards someone like me by most we would pass in the streets of this city. And you know, when it comes down to it, I don’t think giving money would help. Not really.
What is needed, then? That is such a complex and interwoven issue that I wouldn’t begin to know how to answer it. I am unfit to try.
But I can work with the children. I can teach my lessons. I can manage a library . . . And I am glad to do what I can.
In Funday School this morning we did some songs with the children before teaching. One had a chorus about J being the “King of the Jews.” As we finished, one little one shot up his hand. “Excuse me,” he began, “but I think that he is the king of everything.”
So very true. And I am so very thankful that He is!
This photo is one of the newly-constructed basketball court at our school. I was fascinated by how quickly it came together. Watching the men running rows of rock-filled wheelbarrows, and arranging the stones by hand before pouring concrete was quite impressive. And yesterday this was the look of it, while today it is a completed project! It seemed fitting to display this since just yesterday our girls actually won a basketball championship game, making them 3rd in the country . . . with covered heads not hindering their ability to shoot, and score :-)


3 Responses to “money and love”

  1. KIm said

    What a treasure you are to your students! You are changing the course of lives forever in such a positive way. And way to go with the girl’s bball team!!

  2. Carol Waffel said

    This reminds me of an experience I had with a beggar here in town. You know they have signs saying they need food. This one was at a traffic light and I offered him an apple from my lunch – and he refused it. They don’t actually want food – they want money (however, another one did graciously accept an apple). I had another experience in Belgium. This long haired scruffy young man came up to us (just the kids and me) on the street and asked for money in German. I pretended not to understand and said so, in English. So he switched to English, and I still said no and kept walking. His one last good humored attempt was to yell after us, “I take American Express!”

  3. Marion C Dean said

    Anna, I love reading your blog! Even though I don’t write I think of you often and miss your beautiful smiling face! We just got back from Egypt and that was a major problem there – they know the angles. Finally our guide told us to just walk like a camel – head and eyes straight ahead. Lots of love to you!

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