“With an open heart and mind, you will learn to grow and change in so many uncountable ways.” –Madagascar Peace Corps Country Director
It is an overwhelming feeling when you realize that curiosity is found in people of all cultures regardless of past of present experiences. Last week I found myself on the village’s football field snapping photographs of the sun setting over the rice fields. As I clicked away at the yellow and pink streaks playing around the clouds I noticed shadows on the ground around me. I turned around and to my surprise, four pairs of eyes looked at me with simple and endless curiosity. Barefoot in the red dirt, four young children stared at me, at my camera, and back at me. I leaned down and asked, “Iza no anaranao?” (What is your name?) The eldest of the bunch responded proudly, “Lyn!” I smiled and introduced myself in Malagasy.
A long pause filled the air and then I pointed to my camera and pointed to the four pairs of eyes and barefoot feet in front of me. “Photo?” Two of the children nodded hesitantly, the other two stared at my Canon with confusion. I took a few steps back and “clicked”. Waving them over Ishowed them their image on the small screen. The children stared in disbelief, pointed at the screen proceeded to look at one another and then laughed uncontrollably. They raced back with giggles to their original spot wrapping their arms around one another, making funny faces, and smiling. With every “click” red dirt flew up in the air as they raced to see their photograph exposed on the screen. This process repeated itself for at least 200 “clicks”!
Through my global travels, I have realized that all children hold a similar trait regardless what country, what village, what socio-economic status they hold. That trait is– curiosity. Simple, genuine, naïve curiosity fills the mind of every child. Being able to feed a child’s curiosity is an overwhelming feeling and one that I have grown to enjoy and appreciate. Needless to say the four pairs of eyes and barefoot feet made for some fabulous photographs and a great story.