I am almost ready for the trip. As you can imagine this is not like packing or getting ready for a vacation. There is inherent curiosity and some degree of wondering what my experience will really be like living as close to the children as possible, in their village, going to school with them, hanging out with them after school and learning as much about them as I can.
I have read as much as I can on all the safety and eating and drinking warnings. I have made the list of exactly what will go in my carry on, the suitcases are reserved for items for the children and I will have 4.
I called Renee to confirm my access to the internet, confirmed the electrical currency conversion, closest ATM, etc. again all the things that you normally consider when traveling. My sister Ana has given me all the tips on the best protein bars to take and ideas for a protein bar, banana and peanut butter meal.
What keeps coming back and back to my mind and heart: taking in, understanding and being able to be OK with the conditions of poverty, lack of education, food, shelter, running water and electricity. More important and overwhelming to me, children not having parents and families.
I know my immediate reaction will be to want to fix or help with everything. I have to prepare myself that this is really not realistic and possible. Love, hope, faith, motivation... this I can give and give and give with every breath and word that comes out of my body and heart. Renee has cautioned me that some children will become very attached to me and I have to be cognizant of this because on December 28th I will be leaving Kissemah to come back to Atlanta.
Every day I am asking God and the angels that will travel with me to help me in this respect, I ask God for wisdom, for the wisdom that will allow me to learn about the children, learn about their hopes, dreams, and how I can continue to tell their story and bring attention to the program so the school and dormitory can be completed. I ask God for the wisdom that will allow me to be present in the moment, allow me to hold as many hands as I can, smile and many times as I can and connect with the wonder and spirit these children have in their hearts.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with three of the young girls in the program, as one of them said to me...MAM I AM LEARNING MY ABC"s...... the sound of their young voices like rays of sun coming across the phone line. It was pure joy.