Holding Hands, Beyond Race and Gender
In my many travels to refugee camps to give out malaria bed nets, I have been intrigued by the way Africans hold hands with others. It is beyond race and gender. It is very common to see two teenage boys or men walking down the red dirt path holding hands. In the USA this would be cause for judgment from some. In Africa, I have learned to recognize this as a sweet jester of friendship.
Frequently, actually almost always, as my husband and I walk in the refugee camps children will come up to hold our hands and walk by our sides. When you look down and see the dirty hands, runny noses, scabies and ringworm you just have to look past that and realize that this is your opportunity to share your love with a child.
I especially liked when we were giving out bed nets in a village within the Kyangwali Refugee Camp when Jimmy, a boy of about 19 years old, reached for my husband's hand and they interlocked. It was like father and son.
Love is unconditional and beyond the walls of race and gender. Reach out and serve others.