My admiration for disadvantaged kids began on my first trip to Kenya. I was watching a group of young boys playing up the road from where I was staying. They were playing with three sticks: two stuck in the ground upright and one balanced horizontally between the two, creating a simple high jump.
The five boys lined up single file and one after another they took turns jumping the stick. Sometimes by themselves, sometimes together with a buddy. Backwards, twisting, diving, it didn’t matter. Again and again, jump after jump, they went long into the evening.
It was the look in their eyes. A look of pure delight, like there was nothing on earth that could possibly be more exciting than jumping this stick. Each jump brought a bigger cheer from their friends. To them, this was sheer joy.
As the trip went on, I came across similar scenes across Africa. Children eager to take things on, full of life, happy with whatever they have. It was such a difference from the kids at home. There was no complaining about getting latest video game or about yet another throw-away toy.
And it wasn’t just Africa. Since then, I’ve traveled extensively