beauty in the slums

Today I went on quite the adventure. It was a beautiful, smelly, hot, dirty, fun filled adventure. We decided to go to the slums and play with the kids. We left the port and walked along the train tracks until we came upon the beautifully, smelly slums.

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As I first looked around all I could physically see was garbage, dried fish and tiny shacks that looked as though they were about to fall apart. At first I couldn’t see beauty anywhere my eyes gazed until we were greeted (by “greeted” I mean bombarded) by tons of little, smelly, dirty, smiley, happy children. They were so excited to see the fotay’s (white people).

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This is when I saw the beauty in this place that has no beauty when you look upon it. I could no longer see the trash, smell the filth or notice the naked children. All I could see was smiling faces and little feet that covered the trash. All I could hear was laughter of little children who couldn’t understand a word I was saying, but loved playing and talking with me anyways. All I could do was love on babies, dance, sing and play with children and use my best sign language to communicate as best I could with the adults. It was simply beautiful!

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Kids fought over who was going to hold my hand, who was going to dance with me, who was going to play with my hair and who was going to sit in my lap. By the end I was completely covered from head to toe in dirt, I was peed on by a baby and I smelled as though I had not bathed in months. It was awesome!!!  It was so much fun, but I felt as though I needed about 20 clones to be able to satisfy these kids. They were so happy just to have us there with them.

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This was my favorite experience thus far. No schedule, no agenda, no time frame, no rules, nothing… Just us spending some time with these amazing kids! We might not have done anything today to magnificently change their lives, but I do know that these kids will remember this day for a very long time and that makes it worth it. I know I will remember this day for as long as I live!

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About lisamhart

My biggest passion and desire for my life is to simply 'help people'. There is truly nothing in this life I want more. So is what I've done to begin to accomplish this passion; I left my amazing job, I moved out of the house and into a storage unit, I said goodbye to my family and my Kevin, I packed up two bags and headed to Guinea, Africa to volunteer a year of my life to work on a free hospital ship. After a few months in Guinea, we then sailed to Congo which is where I will spend the last 5 months of time with Mercy Ships.
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