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…