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Give a Cheer
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In between college and graduate school, I joined the Peace Corps and was stationed in southern Africa in a very "National Geographic" kind of place. It was eye-opening and really shaped the person I became.

I have this photo framed on my desk. I'll never forget this beautiful young girl and the lessons she taught me in humility, grace, patience and perseverance.

Can you imagine the weight of the water in that bucket and walking a long way in deep sand under the hot sun every day to fetch it? This was the daily routine of every woman in this village. And once she got to the well, there was a long line and a long wait. I can't describe how deep my admiration is for my sisters, the women and girls of this village.

The journaling says: This is a young girl, Precious, gathering water in the village in Namibia where I served in the Peace Corps. One of the things on my Bucket List was to live in a foreign country. For two years, I lived as the only Westerner in a remote village, down a long dirt road, two-days drive from the capital city of Windhoek. In my village, there was no electricity, no running water, no bathrooms (no latrines, even), no telephones, no stores, no doctors. It was subsistent living, but there was a school and I was a teacher.

While I was there living out my bucket list, I often thought about the hopes and dreams of the villagers. What was on their bucket list? This photo haunts me. I wonder about Precious. Is she still alive? What was on her bucket list?

Did she dream of a time when she'd no longer take the long trek to the well each day to fetch water?
Did she imagine living in a mud hut with a real cement floor, instead of a dirt one?
Did her bucket list include a bed, rather than a bamboo mat on the floor?
Was her bucket list to one day own a propane stove, so she'd no longer cook all her meals outside on a fire?
Did she imagine one day wearing shoes?
Did she dream of living long enough to see her own grandchildren?

We've all had our trials, but when I remember Precious and her bucket list, I'm humbled and my troubles are none. I am richly blessed.

The beautiful Zva swirl was a RAK from KarenW and the lovely handmade paper flower on the lower R was a RAK from ~Puppet~. Thank you both so much.