Mr. Kondo is a great, dear friend of my family’s. He has six kids, all between the ages of 36 and 22. He said he stopped having kids when he turned 32, and had a great last three decades. “Kids start out by being a pain in the neck and end up being the joy of your life when they grow up.” He told me today “I was smart with my life. I spent eleven years making kids and then stopped. That was a wise decision. When my last wife died, I had no young orphans, the youngest of my kids was 22, and I could be there for them as an adult. That was the best decision I ever made.”
He’s light-hearted, loving, deep, dedicated, humble, extremely funny, and wise. No wonder someone like him is such a pillar of the Baha’i community in Pointe-Noire. He now has 11 grandkids, and he’s having all his grandkids over on Sunday for dancing. He’s an avid dancer, and is known in the Baha’i community. We had our fiftieth anniversary of our community a few years back and his dancing was legendary, and made it into the movie of the event, and is now practically legend among the Baha’is. He truly believes in dancing. He says it bonds him with his grandkids, who often say when he arrives to visit them: “Grandpa, first dance with us, then you can kiss us hello”. In remote Baha’i communities, when he arrives people greet him hello with his signature dance moves. People like this are the people I grew up with, and when I look into his lovely face, and he jokes about his children, and dancing, I really feel welcomed, not personally, but by the things he says, which proclaim more loudly to me than anything else that I belong to this place.