There has been a lot of news about the refugee crisis over the last year both in Europe and here in Canada. We have seen terrible images of babies washed up onto beaches and been impacted by the surge of terror that seems at times insurmountable. However, there are also stories of amazing generosity, innovation and inspiration amid all of chaos that need to be shared. Continue reading
After visiting Pakistan last year I will always have a spot in my heart for the country. One of the most inspiring people I have heard speak about education is Malala Yousafzai the young woman who was shot by the Taliban due to speaking out about the need for all people, girls included, to have access to education. Her message is one of hope as she does not ask for revenge on the Taliban but rather states that she hopes that the children of the Taliban will also have access to education. Her message is inspiring and reminds us that we each have a role to play in helping to provide education to all so that we can build a more peaceful world. To hear her whole speech please click here. I have also included some highlights below.
I have collected these images throughout the last two weeks to show the amazing things that can happen in the midst of very difficult situations. Throughout my time volunteering in Calgary and on the Siksika Nation I have been amazed at the resiliency of people and the way that communities have come together. Below are some of my favorite moments!
On our last day of school some of my students were able to share with me their positive stories from the Calgary Flood. Most places in Calgary did not allow volunteers that were under 18 and yet these 13-14 year olds still had stories of how they had made a difference. They shared with me what they and their families had experienced that gave them hope. There were many stories so I chose to highlight four of them here.
One of my good friends, Cathy Yost, has been an amazing support to me through this project by helping me to work through things I have struggled with along the way. I knew I needed to have a Skype date with her after the cockroach incident in Rwanda.
I heard it scuttling and immediately freaked out jumping on top of my bed, barricading myself inside my bug net while swinging my only weapon, a welcome mat! I knew in that moment that my reaction was ridiculous but how could I get over my fear of spiders, cockroaches and all creepy crawlies?
Cathy helped me to realize that it wasn’t about the bugs it was about looking for what I wanted to see. That if I chose to look for the good I wouldn’t see as much of the bad. So that has been my challenge over the last coupe of months – to not look for the creepy crawlies, to keep going one step at a time forward in this journey of becoming more courageous in small ways.
Well after spending the whole day trying to upload the Inspirational Monday I can relate to Thomas Edison when he said “ I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” I found it hard today to keep pressing on but I believe that this story is so important and I want to others to see how doing something so simple like smiling or being welcoming can make the world a better place. After doing this all day though, I am very excited to leave the hostel and go in search of something with lots of chocolate! Andres and Diana, the owners of Cafe Converso, declared themselves my first friends in Bogota and they may never know how much that meant to me. They helped me to feel welcome and loved when I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me to remember why I am doing this and for reminding me of what I know to be true – there are good people everywhere, we just have to be brave enough to seek them out! Today is family day back home. My mom prayed for me before I left that I would find family everywhere I went and I believe I have found it here in Colombia.