Friday, September 24, 2010

Small World, Big World

I have had a heck of a week getting back into the swing of fall. After a good time with some late summer travel, re-entry has been difficult. I am still mired in laundry and email to answer. My house is a mess and we all want to stay home and relax. Yet, the kids have classes and we all have commitments, so we have been on the go all week. I am trying to get them back into the swing of doing academics after a break for our vacations. I am trying to get myself back into the swing of preparing, reviewing, and assisting with academics after the break for our vacations.

To top it off, I have been spending the whole week obsessing over what to feed my children while we are on-the-go since Middle Sister’s dietary restrictions are going to require that she eat gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. So, my pickiest child has to give up her favorite convenience foods. No more sandwiches (and Dear Reader, I have tried to encourage her acceptance of gluten-free alternatives). No more string cheese. No more snack bars. My job just got a lot harder.

Now I get to creatively plan healthy allergen-free meals that Middle Sister will eat (no small task) AND prepare them (because Middle Sister has already rejected all healthy convenient pre-prepared foods) all before we leave the house in the morning, all the while trying to rally the slow-moving we-are-not-morning-people children and get them ready for the day.

This is all to say that I have been anxious and sort of feeling sorry for myself this week. I have not slept well. I have had my notorious packing nightmares (wherein I have to pack in a hurry and the objects I need to pack magically multiply so that I run out of time, space, or both, before some dream-deadline occurs). As with all changes in schedule, by Thursday, I am a wreck.

This Thursday, I left the house at 10:30 so I could get to the kids’ drama program and learn what the characters will be for the play that I will write for them to perform. And we literally spent the entire day out. Tired Little Sister had no nap. It was a long day.

Then, at 5:30, I got to shift gears. My dear husband met me at one of the kids’ classes to take over. I went to a World Affairs Council Event and heard guest speakers from Ashesi University in Ghana. Ashesi, which means “beginning” is a University that is breaking new ground in African Education. And graduating Africans with the skills to solve the problems of Africans. It’s brilliant , really. And completely simple. Why not trust that Africans can handle their own country and their own lives better? Especially when provided with the opportunities that a great education can offer them. I listened to a discussion about investment in African instead of donations and relief in Africa. I listened to two women graduates who are making a difference in the world, starting with their own countries. I heard a little about the 200 children who live at the unique orphanage at the Village of Hope. I heard about mircolending that works.

And I thought how narrow my perspective has been this week. What an amazing world and what a lot of good things can happen within it.

I suppose it’s okay to have that narrow view now and again. It’s how I maintain some sense of sanity when everything is overwhelming. Just focus on one small thing at a time. But it was good to be reminded about how big a world it is.


Melinda said...

I love to read your writing Tera -- when there are no FB posts to enjoy, I hop over here. Some of my friends are in Rwanda, with similar ideas, working to mentor and support Rwandan busines leaders.
From Beacon Hill, Seattle - to Kigali

PNW Mama said...

Melinda, love to learn about such positive things happening in the world. Especially when most of the news we get from that giant area of our world is so dismal. And thank you for the compliments. Very flattering.