Friday, October 16, 2009

Back with Purpose

So here I am back with y'all again. My life has been going in a different direction and for awhile I didn't think I would have the time to blog anymore. And if I did blog what would I be writing about? My five year plan is not what is driving me forward anymore though I am still on track. But there are so many other, more important things going on in my life than thinking about retirement. (see profile comment) Well, I think I have it figured out finally, at least for today. And if you're trying to live in the moment, like me, then today is all you need.

One of the important things going on in my life is in my arms above - Mia. I met Mia and her daycare buddies on a life-changing trip to Jamaica in August. My partner and I went there for a few days to meet with government officials and young people around the youth leadership development project he is working on. We had received a plea before we left that a new daycare was in need of toys so I went to my local Talize and bought enough toys to fill a huge suitcase.

We put smiles on many faces that day (and a few tears) and introduced an important new concept - sharing!LOL! For the most part people only see photos of the resort areas on the northern shore of Jamaica (Montego Bay, Negril etc) - but most Jamaicans live in third-world conditions and the poverty is amply evident in the capital city of Kingston and in rural areas. Jamaica's murder rate is the 3rd highest in the world beaten only by Colombia and South Africa.

But on this particular day joy and youthful optimism won out. Children are our future and there were definitely a few potential leaders in this bunch!

Despite the crime, the violence and the grinding poverty Jamaica is so alive, so vibrant, humming loudly with energy, love and vitality. I can't wait to go back.

My partner and I will be going back to Jamaica in July 2010 to deliver his leadership program to 100 young people, to donate more toys and computers. There are more computers in the school where I teach than there are in ALL of the schools in Jamaica!

There is much work to be done. Jamaica is just the beginning.

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