I wish I could say there was some cinematic reason for JT and a ninja but unfortunately for those cinema majors, Tesi, there is not. I had a hat that looked like JT’s hat and Nick, the ninja, had a full jump suit that looked like a ninja and thus, Justin Timberlake and the ninja were born.
I wish I was as eloquent as any of the women in my life so I could write something that would touch the heart strings of the readers of this blog. I am however, just a simple man who loves his wife which is why I danced for her in the middle of a YMCA Camp in 40 degree weather. I would like to thank Nick for his participation as the ninja in our “Break Off.” I could not have done it without him.
Now comes the time when I stand on my wife’s soap box and discuss why I believe in this cause. I sure hope I do not need to tell you why this is important. I think it may be hard for some to get behind it because as lucky, blessed, blind Americans we have a tough time imagining it any other way. Let me paint a quick picture of another way for those that have not seen it before.
Imagine driving down a stretch of highway with nothing around you but horizon. It is a beautiful sight to see to say the least. As you drive down this highway you notice up ahead something on the road. As you pull up closer you notice it is a donkey, not the type you would see driving down an American highway in the midwest, but rather a donkey that weighs less than the average American man. You can count ribs, both scapulas, vertebrae, hips, and knee joints. You move quick to grab your phone to call the humane society to see if someone can come arrest this person who has treated this animal so badly but then you remember that you are in the middle of Africa and the idea of animal rights here is comical. Animals have the right to serve humans’ needs, not the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as in your home town. You slow down next to this poor, disheveled looking animal and see that hanging off of the back of skinny old eeyore are two large yellow jugs. You can’t tell what is in the jugs but by the way the animal is carrying them, they must be full of something. Behind the donkey you now see the most shocking sight, the 5 year old child who is tending to the donkey to make sure it gets home. A 5 year old child who should be reading books and playing in a front yard or taking naps in a comfortable bed or just hugging their mom and dad is hitting this donkey on the right side and the left side, not hard mind you, but enough to let the donkey know to move over so it doesn’t get hit by the Land Rover that the white people are driving. As you pass and look at the child and donkey walk away from you in the rear view mirror of the Land Rover you start to imagine your oldest son Trysten, 5, leading a donkey down the highway carrying two large jugs on its back. I will repeat that so it hits home, YOUR 5 YEAR OLD IS WALKING DOWN THE HIGHWAY LEADING LIVESTOCK. Then you remember that the last time you saw any type of hut, home or person was probably 5 miles back. That five year old is walking livestock down the highway for five miles at the minimum. Then it hits you harder because you realize for that child to be where he is he had to walk there in the first place which means that that little 5 year old child with that 175 pound donkey will be walking 10 miles just to get these jugs. As you find yourself waking from this daydream of math about how far this child has walked, you see hundreds of people gathered on the side of the road ahead. As you drive past in your land rover with air-conditioning and leather seats you realize they are all huddled around one well pulling water out to fill up their 5 gallon jugs. Most of the people huddled around are children. Getting water for their families for the day, week, month? That is why Justin Timberlake had to break off the ninja.
I now step down off of my wife’s soapbox. Before I leave you, I want to give you one more challenge; tomorrow morning when you wake up and go to the bathroom, don’t flush; when you try to brush your teeth, don’t wash your toothbrush off, don’t take a shower, don’t drink coffee, don’t shave, don’t give the dog water, don’t do anything until you send your 5 year old child down the highway to get water for the day. When that child gets back after the 10 mile hike down the highway where Land Rovers are flying by driven by people that looking nothing like your 5 year old, then you can flush the toilet, brush your teeth, drink your buna (coffee in Ethiopia), shave to look nice and of course give water to the dog that is a part of the family. But remember, you only have about 10 gallons of water for the day, so use it wisely.
Please give water for Christmas, don’t get comfortable in the blessings you have been giving. Make yourself so uncomfortable that giving money to this cause seems like the least you can do.
Soap box is now officially turned back over to my wife.