Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Hero named Tsietsi...

Today I know that in a tin shack in Alexandria, a South African township wracked by poverty and stalled by underdevelopment, a boy named Tsietsi is thinking about my son Desmond.

While our Net Buddies wait for mentors, I am lucky enough to correspond with Infinite Family's kids via email. Getting messages in their inbox is exciting and keeps them practicing their nascent computer skills. I try to keep them typing by asking them to tell me stories about their lives. The truth is, I am the one who is honored to have my inbox filled with their testimonies of resilience and hope.

A few weeks ago, I asked Tsietsi to write me a funny story. Instead, this is what I received:

Hi Dana Gold

My funny story about me is that I have finished my grade 12 last year, and one thing which makes me frastrated when I think of is that, I failed grade 1 which many people regard it as the most easiest class in school, so when I am trying to tease my friends they just say ''a normal person has never failed grade 1'',they try to make it a joke and I really gets frastrated indeed.



Not the funny story I was looking for. A story that deserved to be honored with some vulnerability of my own. I responded with the following:

Hi Tsietsi!

Oh, that is a hard story. My son has also had to repeat grade 1. He is repeating this year. It makes him sad, too. He is also afraid that the children will tease him.

You could be his hero! You were able to persevere (never give up) which is one of the biggest ways to succeed!

Congratulations on never giving up! Maybe you could share some wise words for my son, Desmond, so that he does not get discouraged.

Thank you for sharing your story, Tseitsi.

Much love,


Tsietsi did indeed share his wise words. Wise words for me, not just my son!

Hi Dana

You know what, as humans we are not the same. Desmond and Tsietsi are
not the same but you need to tell him how much important he is and
that he must keep on working hard. You know what, trust me, show Desmond more
love and you will see he is going to be such an intelligent son and one day you
are going to be proud of him.



So, today, in South Africa, there is a hero walking around the halls of Realogile High School. A hero in his own life, my son's life and my own. His name is Tsietsi.

No comments: