Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hunger : Lizzy Chemal

Lizzy Chemal prepares chapatis 
for her mom and her siblings.
She has a smile on her face,
for she loves her family,
and enjoys preparing the meal
to satisfy their hunger.

There is another hunger young Lizzy knows,
hunger for knowledge.
In the heart of her village,
after walking far to bring home water,
after working in the corn field,
and tending the goats,
and after the washing-up,
outside, in the dented enamel basin,
Lizzy has time to dream.

There is a life beyond this village.
She knows, because her big brother has told her,
things she cannot imagine,
places she cannot picture,
except in dreams.

Her dream has long been 
to go to secondary school.
This is a big dream for a village girl.
But - perhaps - it is possible?
Her big brother found a sponsor,
left the village,
went to school, studied hard,
and now he has come back,
with a good job, and plans to help
his family, and
the people of his village.

Looking around Kacheliba, Lizzy
and her brother know that life can be hard
for a girl who cannot get out of the village.
Daughters watch their mothers' hard lives,
help with the chores, gather water and firewood.
Lizzy knows all too well the fork in the road:
going away to school or accepting 
that this will continue to be her life,
that soon, within a few years, 
babies will begin to come.

Sometimes, in this life,  a miracle happens.
Someone across the ocean 
tells a friend about 
this brilliant girl who stands 
at the very turning in the path
between Possibility and Impossibility,
and the friend, who has a beautiful heart,
determines this girl will do the impossible.
She will go to school.

So, Dream, now, Lizzy! 
With your wide open eyes,
watch as your brother gathers the school supplies,
your mother prepares your clothing.
Watch as package after package 
- pencils, ruler, paper, books -
come in the front door, all for you.
There is such a rush to be ready, 
the plans for travel,
more excitement than Christmas,
mother proud and happy,
little Cheptoo, big-eyed and wondering,
because Lizzy is going to school!

Adorable Cheptoo, I know you will miss your big sister. But study hard in school for, when it is your turn, we will make a miracle happen for you, too!

With Love from your Koko

posted for Mid-Week Motif's challenge: Hunger


  1. and after Lizzy finishes school even Cheptoo should go to school. Amen.

  2. Sherry, I know this challenge hit close to home for you! It is so very wonderful the Lizzy's hunger for education will be fed & later Cheptoo's will too. Nic that people an ocean away care & also that older brother will return home to help as well. So true that there are no accidental connections in this world. I have seen this time and time again.

  3. Sherry! ohhhh, perspective. wow, thank you. go Lizzy! xo

  4. oh please keep dreaming...and i hope that we here on the other shore keep sending as we can...imagine a world where we all commited to helping others meet their dreams....think we would achieve more of our own as a byproduct?

    heading to africa in november...i look forward to them touching my life....

  5. I can see why you liked my poem, Sherry! What a wonderful story of global generosity, enabling a hungry child to get the education she longs to have. I am sure that what worked for her brother will work for her and she will become one of the strong and educated women Africa needs.

  6. Wow ! how nicely you've expressed the hunger for knowledge ..I feel for the child and hope one day she will be empowered with knowledge ..

  7. Thank you, in this amazing story, for making me feel both the hunger and something I could do!

  8. LIZZY IS GOING TO SCHOOL! That is wondrous!

  9. dreams sustain.. they grow with the help of others....

  10. Sherry,

    So good that kind and decent humans, like you, are making a BIG difference to the life opportunities for Lizzy and her sibblings. New ways, from the heart-felt thoughts of you Sherry.

  11. Lovely pictures, lovely story! Thank you, Sherry. k.

  12. Awesome!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

  13. How exciting to see someone be able to do the thing they hunger for...such inspiration!!

  14. What a wonderful gift..though as with everything I am sure it was a combination of resolve, hard work..and opportunity..on both sides

  15. beautiful, mi amiga. this type of message inspires the heart to give. in giving we are getting. :-)

    for those of us who can't join you in Africa, Brian, say hi to those you meet and when you embrace them tell them our eyes, our hands, our hearts are with you for them

  16. a great challenge taken up by an undaunted spirit .....a story of awesome courage, love and generosity.....

  17. How lovely! I hope Lizzy gets the best of all education. By any chance is Salem Lorot Lizzy's brother?

  18. This is inspirational Sherry. What a pleasure it must be to teach these children who actually want to learn.

  19. Success always begins with one dream. This is another inspiring and empowering piece, Sherry. Well done!

  20. This did my heart good, Sherry.

  21. I love when student wants to learn, not because parents insist ~ so generous of you!

  22. I now this is near and dear to you sherry. A lot of authentic feeling in this. A life time of care in this poem.

  23. O, Koko, this is such a special poem!!!!

    Thank you so much for making Lizzy's dream a reality. And our "friend" too. Lizzy is now off to school today and she is so happy. You have made her dream big!!

    We will print this poem and hang it inside our house. It is such precious!

    African Grandson.


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!