“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.”
--Louisa May Alcott 
There is no shortage of fun updates from Kantolomba, and we shall let the recent photos and captions on the Africa website give the bulk of the news, as we’re moved to elaborate on one particular photo of Marian in the April 30 posting. 
When we first met Marian she was about four years old, severely malnourished, HIV positive, with a CD4 count on the edge of an AIDS diagnosis. Her twin sister had died. Her younger brother was dying and her mother, Josephine, famously stepped forward to tell “Mama Cheri” how much she, Josephine, and her whole community needed help. Cheri often points out that it was Josephine’s courage that catalyzed the project into what it is today. 
Marian’s younger brother, Daniel, did die soon after we met them. It was our first experience of losing someone in Kantolomba who had become dear to us. 
Though Marian was among those who immediately began receiving proper nutrition and access to medical care, it was months, in some ways even years, before we knew if it was too late. There have been countless times when we received news from Theresa that Marian was gravely ill.  More than once we thought we were losing her.
So when Theresa sent this photo in the April 30 post, it was a moment. 
She’s about 20 now. 
Her life has truly been saved—by her mama’s advocacy, by the care of her community, by the financial support you have generously given to provide proper nutrition, access to medical care and safe housing, and by her own courage to persevere in the voyage.  
And it’s not smooth sailing from here. In fact, inspired by this photo, we asked Theresa on our next call for an update on how Marian is doing. Turns out she had just become very sick with a terrible cough. This is the reality for a young woman whose body has been battling HIV her entire life, her early years in dire poverty. She is sailing in stormy waters much of the time.  
“I see a bright future for Marian,” Theresa went on as she continued to tell us about Marian as a grown woman. “She is jovial, full of fun. She is very open about her status and her friends support her. Her openness is also a big support for others living with HIV.”
Marian left school after heroically taking her grade nine exams three times. Zambia’s school system has standardized exams in grades seven and nine that a student must pass to continue to the next grade. She had just missed too much school and was ill too much of the time to catch up. 
“She’s becoming very interested in the sewing,” Theresa told us as we talked about the emerging micro-businesses. Perhaps in addition to being an incredibly inspiring life sailor, she will soon also be a Living Compassion tailor.
It’s so important to periodically pause and take in the particular expressions of transformation. 
In gasshō