this girl.

i’m baaaaaaaack! weird, i know. i don’t even believe it and i’m writing the darn thing.

well, let’s just get down to it. kapeesh?!

modesta!meet Modesta. she’s 11 (we think) and the brightest little girl i’ve ever met.

my sister met Modesta on her first trip to malawi. when we went back with her the next summer, i was so incredibly excited to met all of the beautiful children i had seen countless photographs of. i clearly remember kara’s excitement as we pulled up to the school on that first day, crossing her fingers the whole way there that modesta would show her sweet face.

as soon as the doors opened and we (attempted!) to step out of the car, we were SWARMED by about 100 little flailing arms pulling on our blonde pony tails. and then, in all the madness, a small voice… “kara!!” it was her! as she weaved herself through the crowd, my sister started sobbing (of course) and then quickly introduced me to her dear, sweet friend. as soon as i heard her say my name for the first time (“kreeeestan”) i was in love. i grabbed her hand and placed it in mine, and that was that.


over the course of the next few weeks, modesta was always by my side.  i experienced many things for the first time with her help: eating nsima sitting cross-legged on the dirt floor, learning how to shake my very uncoordinated hips like a PRO (more of a lame attempt on my end), playing soccer in a skirt, trying to make someone laugh when you both can’t understand a LICK of what the other person is saying…and on and on.

my very favorite memory of modesta came on an unsuspecting day. we had brought along a few hunded sweatshirts with us, the goal being to hand out one to each child. we wanted to give the children something warm to wear for the upcoming winter months, and we were told this would be the first “new” piece of clothing that many of them had EVER seen.


we laid all of the sweatshirts on the ground, and lined the children up outside. one by one we would bring them in, find them a sweatshirt, and after making sure it fit we were to happily send them on their way. when modesta’s turn was up, i led her to the pile that had all of the sweatshirts in her size and watched the magic begin. in my silly brain, i thought she would choose one quickly, happy to have something warm and HERS. boy, was i wrong!

modesta took her sweet time, trying on every sweatshirt in her size. she twirled around after putting each on one, looking for my approval with a thumbs up or thumbs down (our main form of communication) and then happily moved on to the next. she tried them all on, and when she was done, she tried them all on again. she looked darling in every one, but that wasn’t the point. this was as much about finding  something warm to wear as it was a chance for her to feel like a beautiful little girl, dancing around in somebody’s old high school soccer sweatshirt, all eyes on her. the look of joy on her sweet face felt tangible, and is something i’ll never, ever forget.


(isn’t she precious?!)


2 Responses to “this girl.”
  1. Margie says:

    i love this for SO many reasons! 🙂

  2. Becky says:

    Yay blogs! Keep ’em coming.

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