Finally! It only took eighteen torturous hours in devices designed by the Marquee de Sade’s minions, two nights of little to no sleep, and countless hours killing time before climbing aboard yet another instrument of torment before we made it. The hours, days, and weeks of existing in neither here-ness nor there-ness were over. The dusty rutted dirt roads lay to our backs. Stacey and I had arrived at our African home.
As the van made its way down the drive, I noticed out of the corner of my eyes a tiny soul darting straight for us at breakneck speed arms reaching out for a hug. Seconds after we climbed out of the van the little sprite materialized into Stacey’s arms with dazzlingly eyes and a show-stopping smile. Here she stayed for the clearing of all our baggage from the van. Clearly this national treasure has never met a stranger. Nor is it possible for a living breathing human being to dismiss her charm.
Esther, somewhere around three years old, lives at Rahab’s Village. Her mother, in the wind, had to be committed to a mental hospital shortly after arriving with her seventh month baby on Moreen’s doorstep. Since then Esther has resided at the Pure & Faultless facility with several different girls acting as a surrogate mom for the little tike.
Bright as a new penny, she counts, “one, two, fwee, go, fibe, seben,” just before disappearing around a building only to reappear in a flash with another pintsized cohort. The freedom these little ones have here is near heart attack provoking for these two American moms. On her own Esther has greeted us every morning with her good morning sunshine smile and a tinkle in her eyes that goes to her toes. Common belief tells us with a history as tragic as this youngster has experienced she would display some signs adverse signs. A more open, charming child does not exist. I suspect she rules the village as she will one day rule the world.