Longer days mean more time for day dreaming. In the early cool June air, there is a feeling of possibility, of adventure. And not matter how old we get, this time of year is tinged with the nostalgia that school is almost over, and freedom just around the corner. Dreaming comes easily to some—especially to children. But for Sara and myself, we work hard to maintain our freedom to dream. It is that youthful wanderlust that led us to Kenya, to the tea fields, and to the people we now call family. Our best dreaming comes with evening chats on the porch over iced tea. Right now, we are dreaming of a summer camp for our 30 sponsored students in Kenya. We are dreaming of replicating the Ajiri model in other parts of East Africa. And we are dreaming of a leadership training program for our women.
If there is anything our Ajiri children have taught us, it is to dream big and to dream fearlessly. As one of our sponsored students explained to me years ago, you need to look your dream right in the eye and have your dream look you right in the eye, and tell each other that you are real. So this is what is real: Derrick will become a pilot. Shila will become a politician. Felix will become a teacher. Eucabeth will become a nurse. They have already dreamed themselves right out of their present environments. Our kids don’t need long June nights to dream. They just need encouragement and more importantly, education.
So we can’t stop dreaming. We must work toward our student’s expectations of the future. Mandela says, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” We can’t thank you enough for continuing to choose Ajiri Tea, and by doing so, reimagining a world where a child can grow up in a safe, warm, and encouraging environment. Thank you all for helping to keep this long June light shining all year. Your support, your kind notes, your encouragement, it all keeps us going.
Kate and Sara