Monday, September 26, 2011

Pawpaw leaves

It's been a day full of colors and thoughts and questions and most of all lessons. So, why did I start with colors?

Having previously confessed to collecting leaves and referring to people who touch my life in special ways by colors, I believe we are well versed with the trend of this article. I do collect leaves not by literally picking them and filing them but by simply attaching certain memories, feelings and even conversations with people to leaves. As for colors, well it is simply-if I meet someone who is bubbly they get to resemble the color Orange, and if they are moody and pessimistic they simply remind me of black. On the other hand if they are aggressive and most of all know when to make a stand-they also remind me of famous Black American legends-it all depends on how long I have known them.

So today, I saw this flyer "I am a girl, I need education, not exploitation," by the Girl Child Network and it has made me like their page on Facebook and read more on what they do to empower the girl child. I encounter so many children at Kariobangi, where I spend my community service hours-and they teach me lots about life in the slums and their outlook on it. Some believe they can get out of the slums and become world leaders like Oprah, while others were bold enough to ask me "If the slum is all we have known, it's were we walk, breathe and live, how can we expect to dream being out of this place?"

It is because of this conversation I had with them that I thought of one leaf in particular: the pawpaw leaf. Did you ever grind dry pawpaw leaves and roll them up in paper then smoke it?

We did that as kids once, and our delightful Father whopped us to sanity, his message was clear "smoking is harmful to your health-it doesn't matter what you smoke."

See, we were thinking that since the pawpaw fruit is healthy-then the leaves if smoked were harmful. Our Father taught us differently and to date I am glad to say that none of his daughters smokes! But the pawpaw leaf is segregated. It is not one large leafe, but rather various leaves with sharp edges that center on one mid. That's what is unique about people-especially those who live in underprivileged situations. No one thinks the same, it's all about people with various dreams and thoughts coming to face the fact that they both share one calamity or lack one crucial thing. I found these girls full of knowledge and life and wondered what more they could do-if they not only saw that they were from the ghetto-but if they saw that they were alive, healthy and had access to resources like education that could see them get out of the ghetto.