People often say that when you go to Africa, it gets in your soul. I believe that the people with whom I recently traveled can attest to this sentiment. The land is beautiful, the animals are amazing. But the people...the people are what stay in your heart.
One of the amazing people we met on our trip to Botswana is Mpaphi Dikaelo. He was born in a small village in the middle of the salt pans called Mopipi. Mpaphi is one of 38 children. He is a safari guide, the owner of a guinea fowl farm, a pastor at a local church, a volunteer who teaches chess to school children at the village school inMorematao, and perhaps the kindest, most gentle soul I have personally met. He is the man in his extended family everyone goes to for guidance and help. He is a well-respected member of his community, which was apparent by the outpouring of warmth and respect he received while carting us around his village.
Mpaphi has been in a relationship with Betty Bolekanye since 2001. They have 5 children and live together in Morematao. Mpaphi is currently building a new home on his land for he and Betty. He is doing so in his spare times with his own hands, cinder block by cinder block. He is a hard-working, enlightening, intelligent, kind man.
In the culture of Botswana, couples get married once the prospective husband has the money to pay a dowry to the bride’s family and pay for the wedding - this is about $5,000. This can take quite a long time to save for as in the village where Mpaphi lives, the average income is about $50 a month.
We were so touched and moved by Mpaphi – his life, his story, his warmth, compassion and generosity toward his family and village - that we (our traveling group of 21 friends!) are hoping to help pay for his wedding. This man looks at his marriage to Betty as a gift. When I asked him if we could help pay for his dowry and wedding, he told me he and Betty aim to be role models to other people in their community, and they hope that by being bound in marriage they can demonstrate to others the gift of goodness that marriage brings.
Help us help Mpaphi and Betty achieve this great goal of marriage that they are seeking. These 2 friends will pass along your goodness and generosity in the example they set for those around them.
Link to YouCaring.com donation page for Mpaphi and Betty.
Post written by Mandy French.