Can you see the water?


This morning while going through photos I thought of a conversation I had with the maid in our B&B in Stellenbosch in South Africa a few years ago.

We were standing on the small landing outside my room.  She leaned forward and touched my arm and said “Tell me what you see in an airplane? The lilt of her voice was so gentle.

There was a slight smile on her face and she beamed as I tried to describe mountains rising from clouds, the sun shining on a soft white horizon that floats in a pure blue sky.
The patchwork fields and the fact that you can see a city in almost one view.

Samburu Kenya.


“But what about the ocean” she said quietly…. “Can you see the water”?  I assured her that I could, sometimes I see Islands, and sometimes the lights of ships at night.
She’s young, with a 3 year old son and works casually as a maid. “Someday I will take my beautiful boy in a plane” she said quietly with a determined smile on her face.

I hope she can, I hope life is good to her, but somehow I think life may be a struggle.

I don’t take the beauty I see for granted and I sent her photos as she asked so she can show her beautiful boy just what it’s like in a plane.

I never heard from her again, but I will always remember her.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I hope her dream comes true, but I am reminded of the many things I life I haven’t done myself, but through the words, photos and artwork of others I can perhaps have a glimpse of life through their eyes. Thanks for sharing, with her, and with us.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Sandra, I would love to know if she received my photos, those sort of situations make me feel so small.

  2. Laura Tawney says:

    You may never know the effect you have on someone’s life – however you do. It truly is a small world and sometime in the future you may know. I’m always surprised when that happen:-)

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Laura, I feel humbled when that happens. Sometimes you get to know other times not.

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