Thanks for giving: The tip that keeps on giving.
Distant but not Forgotten
4 years after giving a 7 month pregnant waitress, named Brenda (the name I would have had, had I been born a girl) tips for a meal I enjoyed on the edge of Fall’s Victoria, Zimbabwe.
I found myself separated from tradition, as many this year. It is a challenge to be anear whilst afar.
For this tradition started with just simple tips one for her, one for baby on the way. For which Brenda decided to name her newborn son for the giver (Me, the only male, who had helped her in her time of life’s internal growth).
Honored by this, each year thereafter, I have been back to Victoria Falls to celebrate Brandon’s Birthday, each year, but not this.
I wanted to find a way to be with them for his 4th birthday. Upon learning from Petty Muchimba, an orphan who helps other orphans in Victoria Falls, that her Uncle is an artist. I commissioned with her uncle Rodger to create a charcoal sketch, of the 3 of us (Brenda, Brandon and me) from a picture taken, on Brandon’s first birthday, on a sunset cruise on the Great Zambezi River, with a hippopotamus resting on shore behind.
With the sketch completed, it was now time, to unite the 3 of us once again but from afar.
A surprise day was organized, where Brenda thought, she and Brandon were to go take photos at an art gallery for me. Instead, unveiled to them, was the sketch of us by Rodger, surprised as Brenda was, and scared as Brandon was, (because of scary pictures nearby), we were reunited, in the art of spirit.
They went off then to celebrate our traditional way, with adventure.
For Brandon’s, first birthday, Brandon, Brenda and I celebrated at a crocodile farm, where I could experience Brandon’s first steps, Ice cream and crocodile petting.
For his Second birthday, it was his first time for a sit down restaurant and to test his new teeth on pizza and for Brenda and I to swim with the crocodiles and raft the Great Zambezi. Last year for Brandon’s 3rd birthday, we had a true adventure. Having helped Brenda to get her driver’s license and Brandon his passport, we trekked, 2 weeks, 2,800 miles (4,200k) on the ‘roads’ of Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana, so eventful you will need to see my posts of these 14 days of discovery with Brenda and Brandon.
For this 4th birthday year, the Sketch and events of the day, will need to suffice, in hopes we can return to our adventurous ways. And, Brandon can teach me some of the 3 languages he speaks.
Distant but not forgotten.
Lwitumezi to Monde Litungi for the photograph that made this possible.
Tatenda to Rodger and Petty Muchimba or created and organized the day’s events. And, Thank you, LaVena Lary who coordinated production finances. And Emmanueltaxis Victoria Falls for help with cameras and logistics