Giving is a nice thing to do but it’s even nicer when you know the enjoyment the recipient of your gift feels. Readers of my three books know how much having a radio meant to me when I was sent to a distant institution for blind children. It was my lifeline to the outside world. While not trying to pat myself on the back, I did return the favour twice in my life.
A half-dozen years ago, I became a pen pal with a prisoner in a Zambian jail. About the same time, I read in the C. Crane catalog about a dynamo and solar-powered AM/FM radio with a flashlight in it. Inspiration struck when I realized what a boon such a receiver would be to somebody in prison. Having my own radio certainly helped me through the lonely years at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind.
I ordered the receiver and when it came, I sent it, along with some toiletries, to my Zambian friend. Not only was he overjoyed to receive such a luxury item but his cell mates benefited as well. He felt glad that he and his fellows could hear the BBC and get news as it happened from beyond his cell. I trust he’s still enjoying that compact little radio.
I also read about a program which placed a radio in an African village each time somebody purchased the same model. I couldn’t resist ordering the Lifeline radio from C. Crane. It took a long time due to multiple SNAFUs with the postal system and Customs but it finally arrived. This radio not only has a dynamo but a solar panel with a magnet on the back. It also tuned in AM, FM, and shortwave.
Whenever I listen to either the same model of radio which I gave my Zambian pen pal or the Lifeline radio, I think of those dear people listening intently to broadcasts in their country or elsewhere. I remember the joy I felt when my dad bought me a transistor radio in 1966 and I imagine the same sense of wonder in the hearts of those Africans.
For more information about my first two memoirs, please visit the Bruce Atchison’s books link. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.