|From Intention to Action - Page 6|
The families we visit live in huts of dirt floors and three walls, with a goat, a water buffalo, or a yak tethered to the back. Sometimes as many as 10 family members live in one room. They have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many don't have shoes. Yet I've never met people who express such joy at being alive, or are as gracious and dignified. I sometimes feel shame because of my own never-ending wants and desires. Every time I go to Nepal, I come back a different person, as do the other volunteers. I think of one particularly sweet story.
Cyrus Ellis, a counseling professor who specializes in cultural issues, had no idea how powerfully he'd be affected. One little girl, in particular, latched onto him. She'd never seen a black man before, much less someone so big and tall, but she walked right up to him and took his hand.
"I didn't know what she could possibly say to me," Cyrus recalled, "as she didn't speak a word of English, and I didn't know what I could say to her, but we held hands together. When it was time to leave, I saw her standing outside my window, so I leaned out. The little girl stretched herself as far as she could—and then kissed me on the cheek. She started giggling and then ran off toward her friends. I was just floored, smiling and giggling myself. I just can't tell you what this meant to me. I've thought over and over how I wish I could hit the reset button and live that moment again and again. I'll carry that moment inside me every day, forever."