Meet Bethlehem. Beti. She smiles. She smiles all the time. She was smiling when I walked into the Read and Feed Learning Center and met her. She was smiling when we loaded up the van to head to the amusement park...when she took my hand as we walked to the first ride...when she ate her very first ice cream cone. Every time I saw her, she had a big smile on her face. She smiles one of those smiles that comes from her eyes as much as her mouth.
She lives a life that would steal the smile from most. Both of her parents are dead. Let me say that again. Both of her parents died. She is nine year old and has no parents. She lives with extended family who took her in. She lives in a poverty that would bring us to our knees. I am talking about no electricity, no water...nothing.
But, she smiles.
The day we took the kids to the amusement park, she thanked me over and over. "Amaseganalu, amaseganalu..." I learned a lesson from this child and am pretty sure I should have been the one thanking her.