My kid. Yes that one. The ten year old going on forty. Intelligent and sharp. He dropped by today for tea. Came with his sister and brother. Threw himself into my arms and gave us a lesson on the art of tea making.
He was taught in Daesh how to make chai and cafe. Including heating the cup first. The tea is ready. He squeezes lemon into his. Not enough, Adds more. Sips. Still not enough. Gets up, cuts more lemon and squeezes it into his cup. Drinks sweet sour tea and chews on a Mars bar and salty Doritos.
He apologizes. " I didn't wear my badge now when I came to visit but I always wear it around the camp, everyone knows that I am the General Manager of Springs of Hope Foundation. I keep the three business cards in a box by my pillow for when I should need them. "
I have to tell him that I need to go to the USA for a few weeks and that I will miss him ,but that of course I will stay in close contact until I return and as soon as I land I will come straight to his tent to see him. He asks what I'm going to do there. I share with him..as the General Manager he has the right to know!!
" Would you like to go with me to America? " I dare to ask. Just a couple of weeks ago he was declaring " Death to America" words that he had learned in Daesh, telling me that if I continued to speak English he would be forced to kill me . Today, as he always does, his reply stunned me and left me speechless. He needs no time to think. His responses are there, matter of fact, fact of matter.
" I will go with you to America, but when your work is done, we will do my work. My work is to get the American military to give us planes so that we can bomb Daesh and wipe them all out. I'll help you with your work and you will help me with mine. Then we'll come home."
My kid. Ten going on forty. A kid with a mission. A kid who wants justice. And his family back. Meanwhile, he tumbles off his skateboard, screeches to a skid on his broken bike and wears his General Manager's badge!
This week I was asked to describe the successes of Springs of Hope Foundation. Its here in a tent with a ten year old drinking who is gulping down his vitamins C. Don't need to look any further.