Thursday, October 1, 2009


I remember listening to a child’s radio program as a child that always started with a song “Let the Children Come”. That song has been going through my head a lot recently, and the idea of “letting the children come” has taken on a whole new meaning to me. When I first moved into my house, there were multiple children playing outside. They found it amusing to call out my name repeatedly “Julia! Julia!” and when I did not respond, they would knock on my door. When or if I answered it, they would all run away laughing; some would return to stare at me with sheepish grins. While I cook, I have my window open, which is too high for the kids to see into, so they would climb the wall, holding onto the burglar bars in the window. They asked me what I was cooking, and would watch with awe. It was as if I was holding a new style of cooking classes for children. I can only hope that they learned something useful. At times, when little kids hanging outside my window or at my door became too much for my “personal space”, I would tease them with calling out my own name and asking who “Julia” is, or jokingly chase them away. I was worried for my sanity at times.
After living in my house for about 6 weeks now, things have gradually gotten better. I believe that the novelty of me, a strange American, has slowly worn off. I have also made friends with most of the “regulars”. One evening I was sitting on my steps playing my harmonica and kids came and sat with me. They are usually very hyper and running around wildly, but this time was different. They listened with silence. As I played, I looked into the eyes of these children and saw a love and innocence that I had not seen before.
Now, when they call my name, I answer, and they laugh. When I come home from work, the neighbour boy yells my name until I wave and acknowledge his presence with a smile. At the market yesterday, one of the little girls saw me, I took her hand and we walked hand in hand as I shopped. As I walk through town now, I always hear a faint “Julia!”; all the kids know my name now, which is better than them calling me “Azungu” (white/rich person), or Miyuki (The name of the Japanese volunteer who lived there before me). I smile and give them a thumbs-up and say “Za Bo?” and they say “Bo” (it is like “what’s up?”)


  1. Sounds like they are growing on you:) I am glad to hear that they have calmed down some. Kids amaze me and they are always so curious. alot of the kids i see in the clinic always want to look at my computer and stand by me while I type and input their information. their mothers generally yell, "Billy get on over here and sit down.She don't need you distractin her!!!" I usually tell them it is fine and end up answering lots of questions about what I am doing:) Some days its more fun than others:) I miss you!!!

  2. I am so happy to hear that everything is going well and that the kids have a great space in your heart. I am praying for you Julia. You are now totally my hero. write if you need anything.
    laters - God bless

  3. Julia! You are a woman after my own heart! You've just got a ton more nerve than I ever will. I applaud you for doing what you're doing. You're living your life and it's really a life worth living. I know that you will have an amazing time there in Malawi. I can't wait to read more about your life there. I will start praying for you and your ministry there. I h ope you have more blessings that you can handle. MUCH LOVE!!! *hug*