Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Heartache of a Small World

One of the best parts of my job is feeling like I have a connection to places scattered all over the globe. It feels good to know that people are basically the same and want the same things for their lives, for their families, for their towns and countries. The downside (if you can call it that) is that global events often affect me on a personal level. If there is an earthquake in Indonesia, flooding in Brazil, or political unrest in Russia or Palestine or wherever, I immediately think, "I hope my friends and their families are safe."

Right now I'm extremely saddened and upset about the Kenyan crisis over its election and the resulting tribal warfare. I think back to the Kenyan students I got to know from our bus trip this past summer. Out of the three African countries represented (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa), the students from Kenya were as a whole the sweetest and kindest. They seemed to carry a graceful inner peace and radiated joy and innocent curiosity. They told me about how proud they were to come from a country that honored peace, especially considering that Kenya is bordered by countries that have experienced some of the most devastating and horrible wars of recent memory. So to hear about the recent violence was particularly shocking and upsetting. I emailed the Kenyan students to tell them they were in my thoughts and one replied last week, asking for our continued prayers. He ended the email asking ME to have a good day! That's just the way they are.

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