By Jack Butcher
I was skeptical about the village at first. It certainly wasn’t my suburban home. After spending a little time in Kekuota’s home I realized that the people of the village are happy even though they don’t have a lot of material things, or electricity. It’s not that they just don’t have iPhones, but they don’t have the things that I use on daily basis, like lights, a washing machine, but they are happy. Happier than I am.
Just as important as the happiness that I observed in the village, I also had a close encounter with their hospitality. I took a tumble that that landed me in the local health clinic. The care that I was given was kind and gentle. I felt like I was welcomed in even though I am an outsider. When I returned to Kekuota’s compound I experienced love and compassion. Kekuota bathed me with the kind of care usually reserved for a small child. He felt the responsibility to provide the care for me and to me that is a good example of hospitality.
I realize now after spending time in the village of Niognani that it’s possible to be skeptical about the wrong things. It’s easy to see the differences and not to look for the things that I found. I didn’t even have to look that hard to discover that the people of the village live happy lives and shared much more than than the power that comes with charging my phone, they shared their care and concern for me and the rest of us, and that is something much more powerful.