Friday, May 26, 2017


Glow-stick jewelry illuminated the faces of 150 orphans at the Tarakwa Orphanage. Their dark eyes widened at the sight of the glowing bracelets and necklaces. Their faces reminded me of my own reaction the first time I saw glow-stick jewelry. I was the age of many of these little ones.

Passing out glow sticks is like passing out magic.

We danced together that night, dressed in light and color. Our voices raised together to the heavens. Even teachers joined in on the fun and stacked glowing bracelets up their arms like royalty.

When we moved from the auditorium to outside, I saw little girls spinning in circles with ballooning skirts and smiles brighter than their jewelry. Wheels of light stretching around them as they danced, hectic shapes in the darkness. The boys tossed their glowing jewelry like magical frisbees that trailed light and color.

A security guard with a long sword came over and took some glow-sticks for himself. A grin marked by missing teeth, lit by the light of these gifts.

A sleepover at Tarakwa Orphanage turned into a ball. We danced into the night. We were dressed in glowing light. We laughed. We sang. We spun in circles.

And that night, hundreds of glowing bracelets were left dangling on the bedposts of a hundred bunk-beds, illuminating the dreams of children who had finally had an experience of a very normal childhood.

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