Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Oftentimes it all seems hopeless and not in the slightest worthwhile.

Shoes outside the two room home for 15

Sometimes I want to give up.


Oftentimes I pass the lady in the street shuffling on her hands with the stumps of her thighs dragging in the dust behind and I want to cry in frustration.

Sometimes I get angry, emotions boiling up inside me at the injustices.


Oftentimes I despair as I know that I have failed to do enough for a particular family or child.

1st year Secondary – 2 of them are now denied the right to sit their O Level exams this year

Sometimes I lay awake in my bed and feel more alone than any one person could possibly be.

Oftentimes I have a blue day.

disappointment after anger

But then…

A chance encounter on the street, I hear my name being called and turn to the fervent looking young man smiling at me and I don’t know him.

“Gill, you don’t remember me!” It isn’t an accusation; it is just a statement of fact spoken so cheerily I know this young man is accustomed to being forgotten. “President Obama, the book, remember? You taught me the word toddler.”

The memories crash through my mind in cinema like freeze frames, one on top of the other crowding out the hopelessness and obliterating the blue that had seeped and washed through my mind.

“Elisante,” I smile at the young man remembering the boy of three years back and my early days working with the street kids at the Amani Centre. In that moment, talking to Elisante, I accepted that I couldn’t change the world or even a small part of it.

That day was some weeks past and this morning I stumbled upon the notes that form this post. Today remembering that encounter with Elisante is particularly poignant for me, because of late my heart and soul has allowed itself to become steeped in the blue of hopelessness again and reading these words has made me sit up and think. How dare I lie in my bed and feel sorry for myself, how can I possibly allow the tide of hopelessness to drown out the goodness. And so for the second time, that young man Elisante, a fine young man who hopes to be a veterinary surgeon and is working hard to achieve this, has saved the day and helped to wash away the blue from my heart and soul.


If a young man remembers me from three years past when I encouraged and helped him to read a book about the then president Barack Obama and taught him the meaning of the word TODDLER.


If so many of you have read my words and opened your hearts and pockets to help Mama Fredy.



Then you know what?

I am making a difference in my own small way and I don’t deserve the luxury of feeling sad or sorry for myself.

There is still much to be done and much to achieve and it can’t be done under the weight of hopelessness.


12 thoughts on “Hopelessness, Barack Obama and A Boy Who Would Be A Vet

  1. Jill, maybe it’s time to just publish your book yourself. Just do it! It costs nothing and there’s easy step-by-step guides:

    They say:

    “Publish your words, your way. Tools and services that help you complete your book and make it available to millions of potential readers.

    Authors are at the heart of what we do.

    It’s that simple. Our innovative free tools and top-notch professional services make publishing and distribution easier than ever. Plus it pays to self-publish with CreateSpace. Our royalty structure provides industry-leading economics, putting more in your pocket.

    Just think, manufacturing and shipping is taken care of. Your book remains in-stock, without inventory, made on-demand when customers order. And with an array of options, including our free Interior Reviewer and Cover Creator, together we can create the book you’ve always wanted.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this and yes it is an option I need to explore but I must get over the “birthing” and sharing experience first. I should blog on this topic but it is too frightening to acknowledge that I am sitting on the manuscript like Scrooge McDuck and his money, not wanting to share and enjoying just looking at it! But this article is very enlightening and I have bookmarked. Again Thank you for the support and wisdom xxx


    1. Thanks for taking the time to read Carl, I am not a teacher professionally but have turned my hand to informal teaching of many kids and adults here in Tanzania and the joy and satisfaction I get from validation like this tale is enormous. If I ever come back to this life I will choose the education path next time!

      Liked by 1 person

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