Monday, January 19, 2009

A Tribute...

I have been thinking a lot over the past couple weeks about the fighting over civil rights. It all started about two weeks ago when we were talking about courage in our classroom and emphasized the great things that Martin Luther King Jr. did during his life. Since then, I have found myself repeatedly thinking about what a different world we live in because of what civil rights activists fought for. I feel like it is on my mind more because of the classroom that I have. In my room, we have about 6 caucasians, 3 african americans, and about 18 latins. Looking at these dynamics make our room so interesting, and these kids have so much to learn from each other. I feel like the exposure to different demographics, characteristics, backgrounds, and races make these kids more accepting of people and cultures. We had a discussion the other day about what our classroom would have been like even sixty years ago. The kids came to the conclusion that they would never have been allowed to be in the same classroom. Many of them expressed concern because they have friends who are of a different race. They expressed frustration about fairness and equality. It was amazing to see them thinking about the reality of these situations. I just wanted to send out a tribute, since it is Martin Luther King Jr. day, to all the people who fought for integration, desegregation, and love. Thank you for your strength to change our world. We can change things if our hearts and minds are unmoveable.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A bit melancholy...

So I just returned last night from a wonderful 10 day vacation in Ecuador. We arrived on December 22, and spent the first three days in Quito. We enjoyed a wonderful Ecuadorian lunch at our maid's house, a great Christmas dinner with the Stucks, and a fantastic traditional fondue dinner for Christmas Eve. It was a bit different than our normal Christmases, but better that I could have ever asked for. On the 26th, we began our trek to the wonderful beach of Same with some old family friends...Stucks, Clines, Millers, and absolutely wonderful group of people. It is crazy to think that some of us having been vacationing together for 10 years now, and we are all grown up now. It was just like old times. We spent many a hours playing football, basketball, and mafia. We enjoyed the wonderful food of Bernabe's. We laid on the beach, and did our round robin dinners. We even braved an evening in the lively city of was just like old times. We returned to Quito the night of the 31st, with a brief stop at the ghetto fireworks stand, where we purchased a ton of illegal...but awesome fireworks.
What is Ecuador without a rocking New Year's Eve. The Clines hosted a wonderful party at their place, with games and snacks. At 11:00 we headed down to the park for a fireworks display, put on primarily by Riley and! It was awesome. A few close calls, some screams, and an hour later....we had surely set off the best fireworks in Quito. We rang in the new year with smoke, fire, and great friends. My last day was spent packing, enjoying time with my family, and a great evening with friends.
I boarded my plane early yesterday, the 2nd to return "home." It feels weird writing "home" because I still don't know what is home. I thought I was okay calling Denver home, but being back in Ecuador reaffirmed the reality that Ecuador really is my home. I have been in a melancholy mood all day today, almost on the verge of tears. I am not wanting to be in America right all honesty, I miss Quito. I miss my sense of community there, and I miss my dear friends that I have spent so many years investing in.
I think the hardest thing about leaving Ecuador this time is not knowing when we will be going back. This was the last big sha-bang to Ecuador as a whole family. It was a great end, but it is definitely getting to my emotions not knowing when or IF I will return. I know this is really long, but it's been a processing in the making. I been thinking and going through a lot in my mind, so here it is....all written out!