Opening Fb this morning I found the very sad news that the lovely young woman who organised Voluntours and through whom we did our Volunteering in Mapoch,S.A. died last night after a long illness. The very next thing I saw was Eleanor Roosevelt’s reminder to live our lives the best we can.
“The purpose of life, after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”
This is how Marnie lived her too-short life and what she encouraged everyone else to do. Meeting Marnie and her family and working in the community of Mapoch was one of the richest experiences of my life so far.
Last year we also lost the wonderful Pastor Peter Mbasa from the Mapoch community. Here’s what he said about Marnie and the Volunteers she organised.
” I personally believe that your continuous involvement in the upliftment of the people has finally come to fruition. It has sparked some sense of self worth in the people. It makes me think of an avocado seedling. It takes from five years to thirteen years to bear fruit. But once it starts to bear fruit, it’s good nutrition for the body. And you will want to plant more because you are proud of the fruit. Some people never live long enough to eat the fruit, but people will always remember who planted the tree. Sometimes it does not even matter who planted the tree, as long as it will feed others. And its shade is the best to rest under in sunny days. Thank you my friends.”
Here, you can see the always smiling Marnie in the middle. Sibongile, the teacher, is to the left and to the left of her, is the classroom we helped to build. The fence, funds raised by the pupils at the school I had just retired from, is here in the process of being erected by another volunteer.
‘Sisters under the skin.’ The sisters with whom I worked in the classroom took me to their hearts and called me their sister.