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What is enough.?

So this week I have been scheduling all my Hope and Soul home visits around my work with the volunteers and what has really stood out amongst more than one home visit is the difference in the meaning of 'enough'... 

dictionary definition of enough - 'as much or as many as required'

I feel like there are some big differences when it comes to 'enough'. At home it seems we live in a culture of enough is never enough and especially when it comes to what we 'want' and what we 'need' the lines are blurred. You are told and encouraged to believe from a very young age you should have everything and anything you want without consideration of the consequences. Bigger is better and what is good enough today will be a thing of the past tomorrow with another 'good enough' to reach. Here in Tanzania, in a developing country I notice that enough is more than what most actually have. Enough is very good and enough is happiness when most live without ever having even close to enough. To have enough is to be blessed and having enough means you can share with others.

I visited Mama Ayesha this week to deliver a sponsor letter to Ayesha who now has a little pen-pal in the UK. Just passing on the basis that I had work in the same area I arrived at the same time Mama Ayesha was returning from a trip to the hospital. Mama Ayesha is part of our monthly support program, both her little girls have sponsors for their education and we support her by paying rent and providing weekly market shops. I have known her for years now and she is one of our eldest mama's, I could see that she was sick. She told me the problem was her blood pressure but she could not afford any further testing at the hospital and so had come home, however she was thankful the malaria  and typhoid tests she had paid for were negative. She welcomed me into the house and half collapsed onto the bed, I was followed by a little group of girls - Mamu her daughter and then Sameera and Gifty who are children of neighbours. Two small plates of food were presented to the table - ugali (staple food here in Tanzania, resembles a stiff porridge) and small fish in sauce. In my mind this plate of food was just enough for Mama Ayesha, just enough. In her mind it was more than enough to feed herself and all three of the children, two of which are not even hers. Thats the difference, in how we think, practically I was seeing the plate of food was only enough for her but really it only depended on how you looked at it. She sat herself up a little on the bed and then made sure each of the children could reach the plates and they ate together. This mama has just enough of everything in life and if not in some aspects still not enough but to her it is good, to her it is a blessing, a blessing to share with others.

On Thursday I went to visit Dora and Deborah who I have not been able to see in over a month. Most of our wonderful mamas go about day to day life with minimal input from me and are what I like to tell them very well behaved! Others are not so much and seem to see more of me as they need more guidance, advice and a little gentle correction at times! Mama Dora is one of my best behaved, she thanks me each week after she goes to the market to collect her food shop and tells me regularly that the girls miss me but she understands I am busy. On my way to visit the home I passed a man selling stuffed teddies on a small cart and knew the girls would love and adore a little new friend! I got a ballerina bunny with long legs for Dora as she has such long legs and a little pink piggy for Deborah as she is just the littlest girl who never seems to grow and still has her cute little baby belly! These girls do not have any toys, Dora has a ballerina sticker book that I gave her and it is the most loved book I have ever seen. I was not surprised when their eyes lit up and they lovingly held their new teddies in their arms and named them each after their own names. How often do we complain about not having enough when we own multiples of something? How often does having even ten teddies not suffice? For Dora and Deborah this gift was over and above enough. This little grubby second hand market teddy is more than most of their friends will have and it is all they need to fill their little hearts, not just for today but for a very long time. It is more than enough, but it is not different, it is just the way you look at it.

Do you have enough? Is 'as much or as many as required' enough for you? What is enough?

Perception is a key component to gratitude and gratitude is a key component to joy.

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