This post is inspired by the work of Wanuri Kahiu (link to her TED talk above), a Kenyan storyteller and curator who promotes art that celebrates Africans as joyful, successful, spunky human beings.
Deolinda is happy. Her life isn't perfect, and she doesn't pretend that it is. But her children are healthy and well cared for, she has a steady job as a vice principal in her community's elementary school, and she makes time in the evenings to watch her favorite soap operas with friends.
She also has a pink bicycle that she loves very much. She rides it to and from work, a mile from her house, every day.
With her bicycle, Deolinda saves roughly one hour in her total daily commute. That's one more hour she has to collect mangos and roast them for an afternoon snack. That's one more hour she has to make the best coconut-marinated tilapia in town, to visit her friends and trade stories in their homes, to turn the soil and plant maize in her farm.
She says that even if she could live elsewhere - anywhere - in the world, she wouldn't want to. After all, she says, what would she do without the fertile land surrounding her home, the good nature of her neighbors, and the feeling that no matter what may come, she is not alone in her Mozambican community?
She is gifted. She is grateful. She is Deolinda, the tenth of The Great Danes.