Don Steirer



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About 99 Ways




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 Donís book, materials, and message have made it into high schools!

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In December, 2008, Don was to be in Johannesburg, South Africa, on business. Days before he left for this trip, he found out that a good friend of his was going to be in Nairobi, Kenya, at the very same time. Not one to pass up an opportunity to play with the children of Africa, Don immediately booked flights from Johannesburg up to Nairobi for a five-day visit.

The highlight of this trip took place on the day after he arrived. They loaded up the SUV with supplies, water, and TV crew, and took off for a parched piece of land two hours north of Nairobi. They arrived at a camp set up for those who lost their homes in the rebel fighting that followed the elections in Kenya earlier in 2008.
There was special cargo aboard today, however: a hockey bag containing 50 genuine soccer balls for the children! Donated by the Calgary Soccer Association, transported free of charge as one of Don's allotted bags on a trans-Atlantic flight, delivered and received with the biggest of smiles.
Here's what happened in Don's words. "On my previous visit to Kenya, I saw what the children did to entertain themselves during the long, hot days. They'd collect plastic shopping bags from the supermarkets that others would throw on the side of the road. When they had collected enough, they wrapped them, one after the other, into a tight ball. Then they scrounged up some tape, from where ever they could, to hold the ball of bags together, and this would become their soccer ball. Now don't forget, many of these children don't have any shoes, so they spend all day kicking this ball in their bare feet!

You can imagine the look of surprise on their faces when we pulled up in our new SUV, the only motor vehicle on site (except for the 50 cc scooter used only for emergency trips to town)."
Imagine, you're holding one soccer ball in your hands and you're surrounded by 150 children who want nothing else in the world at that moment than to kick that ball. What would you do?
You'd do exactly what Don did: throw the ball in the air and run after it WITH the kids! Shouting, screaming, laughing, yelling. Changing directions as the ball gets kicked in all different directions, all the while waiting eagerly until it comes even close to you so you too can finally kick a real soccer ball!
Remembered Don, "And true to the hearts of these precious gems, they gave back more from their hearts than any box of chocolates ever could.
If you want to experience what it is like to truly give without expectation of anything in return, I suggest you go to Africa and spend just one day with these people. They may not have the trappings of the West, they may not be able to reciprocate with a material possession in kind, but when you shake their hands and look at the smiles on their faces, you will experience feelings of tenderness and connection at levels you may have never experienced before. And that's what life is all about."

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