I have found pure joy here in Mozambique…and its the children and their beautiful laughter that brings it. I feel that the joy of the people of Mozambique is summed up in its children.
In each community we are greeted by children – first they start out observing us from a distance until they get more confident or until we smile/wave at them. Then they start jumping up and down of joy and begin giggling. Then the following starts – some of them follow us for an hour or two never getting tired of staring at us and finding us terribly interesting. The interest and staring is actually mutual because they are beautiful, happy, innocent, some shy, some daring, some confident, some curious etc. Personalities come through fairly quickly and it’s fantastic to interact with them. Most of them don’t speak any Portuguese, (they speak the local language called Zena), but that does not seem to stop them or us from interacting. The best is when we pull the camera out. First they don’t know what’s happening to them, but then we show them the pictures we just took of them (thanks to digital cameras) and they start giggling, jumping around, teasing each other about what they look like on the picture and then they start lining up for more pictures – it’s like free candy. I have never felt like such a good entertainer – all I need to do is take a picture and I am the star of the show (or better yet, they are, but I am making it happen for them). I think only with children is it that easy to make somebody that happy that easily. So we are surrounded by laughter and giggling all day long and it is as I said – Pure Joy!!
As you can see from some of the shots I took the other day the children are incredibly beautiful. Some have tremendous smiles (though they rarely show them on pictures) or beautiful eyes or well done hair (though that’s mostly reserved for the more grown ups). All in all they are the cutest things ever…
Even after the picture was taken she was not quite sure what to think. She was shy and quiet, but curious as she kept studying our every move.
How can you say no to that smile?!
She was born in June – look at those lips…
Little Jaime – the youngest son of one of the leaders in the community
The older children seem to be a little more reserved than the very young ones. So they are usually quietly curious, as this one was.
He was one of them that could not stop giggling whenever we took a picture.
He and his friend (see below) followed us, I think, for an hour. They kept on laughing and jumping around and trying to get our attention and of course have us take more pictures of them.
He was wonderfully confident and though he was a little older than the rest of them, he was equally amused by all the pictures.
And that’s the friend I mentioned above. There are no words for a smile like that!
We were watching a community lesson and this girl was looking up at Talmadge.
Here are the two boys together that followed us all morning…and the famous camera that brings all that joy into theirs and our lives.