Bright and Shining

I hate it when I say "Africa" and people immediately think of starving children, poverty, AIDS, and conflict.

 

And yet, I do take care of incredibly sick and malnourished children, families living in grinding poverty, and so, so many patients infected with HIV. And we do worry about the violence that springs up in fragile places. I may be guilty of reinforcing the same stereotypes as I write about these sick children and what life looks like in a sub-Saharan country where most people get by on less than $1 per day.

 

But of course there is so much more.

 

Like people in any corner of the world, the people in Kenya are bursting with their own unique stories of love and grief and work and families. Determined, dedicated mothers and fathers who want nothing more than to raise up children who are strong and smart and loving and who have a better chance in life. Children with bright and shiny dreams of school and success. Families who have absorbed life's hardest blows of loss and sorrow, but who keep working, keep trying, keep loving. I know these families. They are my friends and colleagues and employees and patients. I hope I tell their stories too.

 

I loved reading this story today, about a 13-year-old Kenyan boy who applied his sparkling, dreaming brain to the problem at hand for his family - keeping the lions away from the cows. Richard Turere gets to talk about his innovations at the TED conference, which is so great. (Oh the dream of attending a TED conference!) I always love a new idea, and I especially love the fact that such a big audience will hear about the ideas (and the dreams and the promise) of this young boy from sub-Saharan Africa.

 

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I'm reading lots of stories from Kenya as we prepare for the presidential elections next week, and mostly I'm worrying about what may come in terms of conflict and pain. So this is my favorite story from Kenya this week - a bright and shining boy with ideas and dreams who happens to live in this particular part of the world.

 

And this is what I pray for: a country that will remain at peace and allow all of its children every chance to grow and shine.

Posted at 15:41

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