The other side of the coin

  Recently, I was cleaning up at home and the children came to help me. While tweaking the cabinet, the son found a dark brown coin wrapped in a handkerchief. “Mom, can you give me this? I want to use it to play the cash register game,” he asked. I glanced at the coin and it immediately took me back to that era. “You can play all my other coins, but this doesn’t work:” I said meaningfully. “It’s very special. I won’t see the woman who gave me the coin anymore. The value of this coin is far greater than it. Its own currency.”

  In 1991, I spent five months in Niger. It was a desolate African country. The sandstorms were raging, and it was very hot and difficult. It was everywhere. The streets were constantly carrying their hands to you, shouting “cards.” More! Cardo!” (Cado is the pronunciation of the French “gift”, Niger was the law National Colony) Later, I went to work with a friend at a health clinic in neighboring Burkina Faso. “The environment in Burkina Faso is much better. Even the taste of coffee is better.” The locals assured us. After arriving at the destination, we started unloading our luggage.

I brought a suitcase and a backpack. When I put my backpack between my legs and reached for the suitcase, the two men slowly approached on a motorcycle. The man in the back seat suddenly grabbed my backpack and the motorcycle galloped away. Within a few seconds, the two disappeared
Staying in the night.

  The backpack has my passport, money, traveler’s check, camera, a ticket and other valuables that I carry with me. The recent Australian consulate is also in Ethiopia, and I am in deep trouble. In the next few weeks, I took care of my own things, looked at all the locals with suspicion, and endured the rude interrogation of the authorities. All I wanted to do was to leave this hell!

  One day, I was walking in the streets of Burkina Faso, and a tall, thin old woman came over and talked. She reached into front of me and groaned: “Cado! I have enough for Cardo! This country makes me bored and disgusted: poor, corrupt, hot, dirty, and thieves and inefficient officials. I told her resolutely in French: “I don’t have ‘Cado’, I don’t have money! Two weeks ago, a thief stole all my money. Now, I can’t get out of your country. I won’t give you anything!” The beggar woman listened attentively to my words, thinking about it. Then she opened the mouth of the broken tooth and smiled, reaching into the crumpled clothes.

  ”So, I will give you a card,” she said. She put a dark brown coin in my palm. I looked at it with amazement! Although this coin is insignificant, it is enough for the old woman to eat a piece of meat. At that moment, I felt the shamefulness of wealthy and charitable humility! She gave me a valuable gift, which is unmatched by anything I have donated. The coin she gave me was invaluable relative to her poverty! My opinion was changed by a little coin of the old woman, and I saw the beauty of the people of Burkina Faso, and Deeply admire the quiet and calm noble dignity of the poor. I hope never to be separated from this precious coin, because the other side of the coin is about true charity and humility!