I’ve been missing for a few months. Months that I’ve been busy on the weekends and basically not doing much of anything on the week nights other than drive kids to activities. And I’m not complaining about that. It is often those rides, even if they are for moments, that are the best part of the day. I get to steal the undivided attention of my child.
This LA Times article from Kevin Baxter had me in tears. It is the story of Dennis Kasumba who is an 18 year old orphan in Uganda and all he wants to do is play Major League Baseball. He shovels cow shit during the day so he and his grandmother have something to eat. Then he works out and plays baseball in between trying to survive. He’s trying to go viral on TikTok with his workouts where he jumps in a barrell with water, tapes water bottles to his legs and drags a tire, bench pressing and squatting a steel bar with concrete on each end and tires. You get the idea.
But then that’s not even the best and/or heartbreaking part. The best part is that Kasumba’s coach, Paul Wafula, asks that the boys he coach go to the home for disabled and disadvantaged orphans, the children who really have no chance of ever finding a home. The coach said about these disabled children, “These kids also want to be shown love, but they don’t have anyone.”
There are 2.5 million orphans in Uganda and the thought of helping an orphan seems insurmountable, but you should do something if you can.
What drives him are the kids. If he gives up, who will pull them out of the slaughterhouse?
“This is their only hope,” he said, gesturing toward the dusty field.
Still, he wonders, what’s the point of getting one barefoot orphan off the street if he’s only going to be replaced by another? What’s the point of encouraging Kasumba’s impossible dream if the odds are it will end in failure?
The point is that not doing anything would be even worse. Just as in baseball, it’s far better to try and lose than to not have played the game at all.
Not doing anything isn’t okay. This doesn’t just apply to orphans in Africa, this applies to everything, but if someone across the world is doing this with few to little resources then maybe we can do the same thing more often. Oh, and if you’ve read this and you know you aren’t going to read the article, the photos are terrific.
What else have I been doing other than attending games and practices? Running a lot. I was supposed to run in a trail race in Arkansas, but the race was canceled because a tornado ran though the park back in April. So I’m going to run my own 50k on the Northeast Texas Trail, starting in Farmersville and just sort of running until I reach 50k. Sounds like a plan.