More deep breaths

It’s been nuts getting the kids out the door in the mornings. Usually Gimli makes breakfast while I get them ready for school – hair brushed, clean clothes, all that stuff – now I’m trying to do it all, plus they’ve been sleeping in later. I’ve never had to use an alarm in the mornings b/c Oz has been reliable to wake me up before 6 a.m. But this week? They’ve both been sleeping til 7:30! So it’s been a little crazy… I will definitely set an alarm for tomorrow. Even when I get them to bed at a decent hour – I think they’re overtired or a little under the weather or something.

Yesterday I went with a visiting “learning tour” group to Soacha, the huge slum area that bleeds into the southern edge of Bogotá.* We visited a project that my organization supports there, a preschool attached to a church. The pastor/project director there was forced to leave along with his family (2 kids, ages 6 and 3) because it simply was no longer safe for him and his family to stay. There are 60 neighborhood kids attending this preschool, 70% of them from families that have been internally displaced. It just kind of hit me – all the anxiety I’ve been experiencing about Illyria’s education, against the desperate hope of these families for whom a school of bare brick walls and concrete floors is a luxury, and children whose one meal a day is all too often the free lunch they get at the school. 

This isn’t to say that I shouldn’t seek to give my daughter the best possible education I can, it’s just putting it in perspective. My kids are so loved and cared for, warmly dressed, clean, and have access to excellent health care and go to a beautiful, fun school. I want them to be mindful of the needs of others. And that is, at least in part, why we’re here.

* and I’m still full of thoughts and feelings on “poverty tourism” and how to keep what we do here from turning into that…


One Response to “More deep breaths”

  1. Rachel Says:

    The kinds of stories you tell about where you work break my heart. I live in such a different world, isolated and insulated from those things. I need to be more aware and doing more to help. I’m glad it did give you some perspective as you make decisions on schooling for your children though.

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