Love Stories



I hate getting older.  Although every good thing said about the wisdom of age and experience is true & gratifying, few care to listen to my wisdom.  Further, many yearnings of my youth haven't seen fulfillment, and I see many dire threats to us and to the world of our grandchildren.  My parents, and theirs, also saw “the world going to the dogs” but it didn’t happen in their lifetime.  I’ve been certain that this time it’s really happening. 


Africa has saved me.  What a turnabout, as HARAMBEE is dedicated to trying to save Africa.


The responses to our calls for awareness and help have been salvific, renewing my faith in many things.


Here are two examples:


Today I opened a letter from a past supporter.  I wasn’t sure why she was writing at length about her daughter’s wedding, but finally came the kicker:  Part of the planned wedding décor was white chair covers tied with gold lamé bows.  Very nice, I suppose.


Then:  “As the time came closer for us to order the covers, we weren’t feeling comfortable about the expense.  Finally we talked about it, & decided that a great deal of money for this decoration wasn’t justifiable, even though budgeted.  We decided instead to give the money to a charity.  My family had heard me speak many times about HARAMBEE’s work, & so you were chosen.  Instead of buying the fancy chair covers, I’m enclosing a check for the amount we’d have spent on them.” 


Out of the envelope fluttered a check for $1,500—precisely the amount I’d been seeking to fund the Kaluoki Village schoolchildren’s porridge program for an entire year.


Now what do you say to a “coincidence” like that?  I’d say it’s a miracle born of love...a call and a compassionate response.




I was working at a consulting job in Phoenix & shared some Africa tales with my work group.  A lab tech asked to speak with me, came in & closed the door.  “I’m so ashamed of myself” she said.  I responded “I can’t imagine why.” 

“I have an appointment tomorrow to get my teeth whitened.  But after hearing your stories and seeing your Africa photos I realize what a shortsighted thing it is for me to spend so much money on vanity.  I called and cancelled the appointment.  Here’s a check.  Buy a goat for an HIV+ mother and her children.”  She handed me a check for $150.


The world may be sinking fast, but I don’t think so.  Not yet.  Love stories like these—quiet, strong, inspired and inspiring--are quietly keeping us afloat.