Wednesday, 23 August 2017
The Silvery Slivers of Wisdom; The Story of how we learnt that Old really is Gold.
This is something new for us, our maiden visit, if you will.
You see, ordinarily, we visit kids who are still under 18 years of age.
We are used to playing with them, the sing-a longs that makes them so jolly, the candy they so adore.. And don't get me started on the milk and cakes that fill their tiny bellies.
You tell them about life, how things will change in a few years to come.
"Mary, be careful with the boys. Do not play too much with them now like before. Your body is changing".
"James a real man is a man of his words. You have to be a man of your word. Both to others, and to yourself. So you promise yourself to work hard, you have to give it your all. Be true to your word."
Do you see why it's different now? These old men and women have seen it all.
I met a man who just clocked 104.
Will I even get to 70? With the amount of soda and fries that I take?!
He's so happy.
He smiles but he has no teeth.
He tells me about the wars. Things that I only read on my history text book.
He was born in 1914.
He was born before the white man came to his village.
What wisdom he holds.
You try to imagine how things were at that time but nothing.
I can't even imagine of a time without electricity in every home.
No television, and worst of all, No phone!
What do you tell such a person? Who has seen more in life than anyone you've met.
We're used to giving advice but this time, we all sit in silence.
To hear what they have to say. It’s a silence filled with wisdom; pearls of wisdom and tales of happier times.
A lady passes by and stands next to the flag and starts dancing. She’s smiling. Like she just met her first love.
But am told that she lost her mind some years ago.
She has no recollection of how her youthful days were like.
But I can tell she must have been a dancer, she must have been the life of the party.
At her age and she is smiling like there is no care in the world.
I envy her.
The place is Mji Wa Huruma. Situated somewhere in Runda. A pot of Gold. A home for the elderly.
If you too get time, roundup a couple of your friends and pay these wizened old men and women a visit. They sure could use the company of some young vibrant souls, if anything, to remind them of the joys of their youth. Though I suspect you will gain more from the visit than they will. Also, remember that African proverb, mkono mtupu, haulambwi. It is also unAfrican to visit a homestead empty handed ;-) 😉
Photo and story credits:
Hilda- A lovely Generation Hope member.