Ah, summer, time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine or the shade of a leafy tree lazing away the hours lying in a hammock. That sounds appealing to me, if we add a cool breeze, a pitcher of unsweetened iced tea, and an engrossing book. Clearly we all need time to unwind, relax, and simply be. Otherwise, we lose our ability to meet the challenges and savour the delights of our lives. Remember, summer is fleeting. Don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy a lazy day.
I have become increasingly aware that many people also look forward to summer for the oppportunities it affords to spend a block of time, be it a week or a month, sharing themselves and their talents with others at home and abroad. These progams teach lessons we could never learn from studying and provide those Aha! moments that change our lives forever.
Recently my 16 year old great nephew Dutch wrote to say he will be traveling with 10 other high school baseball players and two chaperons to the Dominican Republic for a week in August. They will be delivering food, medicine, and baseball equipment and playing baseball “in the streets, parking lots and cow pastures of the Dominican Republic, with the children who live there.”
Colleges increasingly offer summer learning opportunities for students. [Where were these 40 years ago when I was an undergraduate?] One such program at the University of Missouri has 16 students spending a month in Ghana. Each student brings valuable skills and a desire to serve and learn in one of three areas of need: health education, children with special needs, and technical education. One, Catherine Rolfe, has promised to report on her experiences. So stay tuned…