The Utahns traveled to Africa anticipating the satisfaction that comes from helping others. But the genuine sister-to-sister sharing and communication surprised and touched them.
To interact with these engaging women and remain unaffected would be as unlikely as walking through their village without getting covered by red dust.Simple scenes show the generous nature of these Malian women:
-Nearly passing out in the 110-degree heat, a flushed-faced Utahn rests against a tree. To cool her, a village woman takes off her head scarf, braids the woman's long hair and ties it with her scarf.
-When an alliance member admires the colorful beaded bracelets belonging to a shy African girl, the teenager removes the bracelets from her wrist and offers them to the stranger to keep. Besides a few dresses, the bracelets are the girl's only material possessions.
-In gestures of trust, the African women offer their infants to the Utahn women to hold. Without speaking, the women from different nations communicate a mutual reverence for life as they admire the children.
Different but the same.
After talking, working, singing, dancing and laughing with these beautiful and proud African women, the group returned to Utah feeling they have gained more than they have given, learned more than they have taught.