Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bridge-Building Letters

I received an email from a friend of mine in Wyoming, forwarding an NPR story that her daughter forwarded to her niece, who is doing volunteer work in Afghanistan. It is the story of a woman in rural Nepal who learned as an adult what a letter was, and how that little bit of knowledge spurred her on into creation and hope for others. As she says (and coincidentally speaks of firewood - my free write concept for the day, determined before I read this woman's story):

If three letters could change my name, how much would I be able to transform my life if I understood all the letters? I spent that whole evening writing and rewriting my name. After that, I carried the spelling book with me while I went to collect firewood, weed the maize field, just everywhere, until I learned to write. ...

As my new knowledge of words boosted my confidence and courage, I made a resolution: Yes, my life has been like this, but I and my sisters and brothers should be given education, as much as we would like.

And the story goes on from there.

This NPR piece is short and it is powerful. What we take for granted here.... This woman - Chameli Waiba - is my Spirit of Service story for today. Without her, there would be no bridge.

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