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My new field mission placement is a children’s home and school in Pietermaritzburg. I am a teaching assistant type person (Mom, you’d be so proud).

This week I spent some time with a little boy named Charlie (let’s call him that). Charlie is a cute, freckle-faced little 9-year-old boy who attends the school but who is not in the orphanage. As we did Life Sciences, we chatted (as you do when you’re not a real teacher) and I asked him about his family. He told me about his sister, who is 4 and his mom and his granny. And I asked ‘do you all live together then?’

‘Yes…’ he said. ‘um…’

Silence.

Oh…

‘Just you and your mom and your sister and your granny?’

Silence.

(Dear God, what’s the secret, I thought)

Then he leant in close …

Whispered in my ear …

‘Well, actually, my dad lives with us too, but the children here are orphans and I don’t want them to feel bad. So when my dad comes to fetch me in the red car, I tell them, he’s my driver!’

Would that we could all be that sensitive and imaginative when dealing with those less fortunate than ourselves.

Charlie, honey – your secret is safe with me …

Bless him!

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