On our first game drive I remembered something I wish I had not forgotten... Laura's vision. Using the binoculars was tough at first, and while we could see most of the wildlife without them, I was always amazed at the detail I could enjoy with them. And so my Mom trained her... to use the binoculars. Covering her left eye blocked out the blurry distraction and she held the lenses steady with the other hand... affording her the views of a lifetime. My heart swelled at her accomplishment, and brought tears to my eyes when we saw that very first cat. And a leopard at that! And my despair over what she couldn't see became thankfulness over what she could. (I did have a breakdown temper tantrum in the Ngorongoro Crater over her sight again, but in just a few minutes it became incredibly apparent that God was holding us right in the palm of His mighty hand!)
Laura, in Africa, was a photographer. I loved watching her crouch and snap with a steady hand. I expected her to video away her trip, but instead she found her place, eye to the lens. She was the one... who gave me courage to get out of that jeep in the Maasai village, she and her camera. There she was, surrounded by dark faces and dusty hands... and the beauty I saw in that moment, these little children and her shining heart, encouraged me to break free... and eventually dance. Coming home and seeing her photographs, Africa through her eyes, was incredible. Her photos were breathtaking, at times, outshining both her Mother and Grandmother.
My girl headed to Africa with a hundred sheets of origami paper... and came back with just a few. At Shanga she shyly exchanged one for a beaded bracelet, and she continued folding almost everywhere we stopped. She tells me she has a running total of paper cranes, but I am guessing she has well exceeded her 1,000 goal. But why stop there? She folded for the little ones at Mama Anna's... and the kids were fascinated It filled my heart to see her hands whipping that colorful paper around, using her leg as a table to make the creases crisp. And the little ones! They clutched their new treasure tightly in the hand, toddling around and keeping it close to their own heart, and away from siblings hands.