Just one piece

I met Alima on my first trip to Mozambique Africa and was drawn to her because she spoke English and had a wonderful sense of humor.  She lived in the orphanage I was visiting.  I think she realized that I needed lots of help and was very giving.  Many critical tasks, such as getting water, are more difficult in rural Africa and we spent much time walking to get water from the well.  We rapidly became good friends and spent most of our days together.

One Sunday morning Alima came to walk with me to church.  As we walked together, she told me that she had a surprise for me – a tootsie roll.  This sort of candy was hardly common and anything sweet was both rare and highly coveted at the orphanage.  It was an extravagant and beautiful gift.  She told me that someone had given it to her and she wanted me to have it.  I was overwhelmed by her generosity and tearfully told her that I could not accept.  She insisted and we agreed to split it – so we broke it in half and ate the sweet treat facing each other.

To that point in my life, no person had given to me out of need, only out of abundance.  This act of generosity coming from a humble young woman marked me forever.  Alima stands as a poignant and inspirational figure in my life.  When led to start a store with the vision to give away its profits, it was entirely fitting to name it in her honor.