Recently, an English teacher at West Carteret HS e-mailed me with news that her teenage daughter is spending some time in Africa this summer. The daughter is keeping a blog of her experiences.
Not only am I able to stay current with her travels, I (or anyone else) can also comment and she can respond. Her account of Day 17 is especially striking:
This morning, once everyone was awake, all of the children went to Mother Teresa’s orphanage for HIV positive children while the adults went to another place. Although the fact at first glance that the people here will never live a “normal” life is undeniable, I’m beginning to question myself on what constitutes a “normal” life.
Being normal in America is completely different than being normal in Ethiopia or most anywhere in the world. Normal to me includes so many things that people without as much as I dream of having. A car to drive around in, an I pod to listen to, a computer to type on, a loving boarding school , family members who unconditionally support me, and friends who make every morning worth waking up are just a few. Clean water, electricity, shoes, and food are things I’ve begun to notice are not so normal here. If the world as a whole would redefine the word the human race wouldn’t be as materialistic. Why cant normal mean having food, a loving support group of any kind, a bed, clothes, and whatever is needed to remain healthy?
I think going back to America and being one of many white people will be stranger than having friends who didn’t wear shoes until high school .
The world is flat! And this young lady, whom I used to watch play soccer on local fields, has gone global. The real life lessons she is learning transcend what can be found in books and movies. This summer is a true blessing for her which she has chosen to share with us on her WordPress blog, Ethiopia.