Friday, April 22, 2011


Simone E-mailed, wanting to shadow me. She had pinpointed a specific day that was already filled with activities of my own, from sunup to sundown."I do not have the time." I replied. Simone persisted and then sent me three options, adding that she was staying near my place of work; with a plan laid out like this, how could I resist?

Simone and fellow students came to New York in February 2011 for a visit which lasted for ten wonderful days through the kindness and hard work of Erica Lee, the founder of Active Compassion Transforms(ACT), a non-profit organization which uses technology to establish mentoring relationships between South African youths and New York City professionals. This trip helped to broaden their horizons and gave them a different perspective on life. Simone was chosen to remain for two more months to spread the word about the School of Hope, Cape Town, South Africa, where the students attend school. She has spent time in various educational facilities here in New York and a few other States. I have dubbed her the Ambassador, whose role is to sell the wonders of the School of Hope and the ACT organization to others.

On our train ride we talked about her amazing experiences. At the Ridgewood Women, Infant,Children center(WIC), a program that provides nutrition education and nutritious food for low income families; the staff greeted us with open arms. In the previous year, they had also welcomed two students from the School of Hope. Right away Simone was drawn to the toddlers who had accompanied their moms for service. She gave tender loving care to them while their moms were engaged with the staff and when I gazed over at her I knew this was her calling, she was at ease and later she talked to us about her desire to teach young children, a career she plans to pursue.

When we departed we stopped at the neighborhood bakery, where the woman behind the counter gave Simone a mouth-watering pastry. I bought a loaf of bread and we went our merry way. As we shared the pastry and ate with gusto, I thought about the kind ways we had been received, everywhere we went good spirit was in the air.
We talked about everything at rapid speed, we knew the time was short. A ride back into the city was all the time we had to tell our stories. We both tried to get as many words in, eager to share the goodness of living well. Our steps were light as we bounced from train to train, skipping up those steep steps with alacrity. Our belly laughs were peppered with words of joy. The sun shone brightly, the streets were crowded and we were lost in our own merry-making. It was indeed a fun day, short and sweet.

You have what it takes to achieve beyond. I am sure you will flourish and be the change agent we talked about.Keep climbing my friend and remember:
"No act of kindness
No matter how small
is ever wasted."

AESOP--The Lion and The Mouse

Much Love!


1 comment:

lois 143 said...

It was a true pleasure to meet the aquaintance of Simone. She is a sincere warm person. I ejoyed our brief conversation about her life in Southern Africa and hope all her aspirations will come to fruition.