The other day I came home to find my 74 year old Dad jamming with a 19 year old. The tattooed up kid was on guitar while my Dad alternated between sax and vibes. This took place after my dad had spent the morning visiting a 21 year old in jail who lost his father years ago. In short, my dad is rather amazing, and more senior citizens should take after him.
In between "songs" I chatted some with the guitar player. He explained he is heading to Mozambique, Africa to spend the summer learning from Heidi Baker and partnering with her in the work she is doing.
I had heard about this Heidi lady before from my parents, but also from a kid named Lou Lou (or Leonardo), who was one of Heidi's original street kids she took in as she was starting up orphanages in Mozambique years ago. As life would have it, I showed Lou Lou around New York City two Septembers ago, and in doing so, he shared some of his life story with me.
He explained to me that shortly after he was born, he was tossed in the trash. For whatever reason, his mother (or perhaps his father), didn't want to keep him. He was left to die, but a nice lady came along, and saved him from death. The woman and her husband raised Lou like he was one of their own - until the age of 7. That's when the couple who took him in visited a witch doctor, who insisted, they get rid of him or they'd be cursed. And so Lou was tossed to the streets, to fend for himself for the next several years.
But then Heidi came along...
He didn't know anything about Central Park, Times Square, or The Empire State Building. He only knew about and requested we see the Statue of Liberty.
And so after lunch we headed to the Staten Island Ferry to see the very figure that he has been making clay figures of for years in Africa, to be sold at churches in Orange County.