There is a "park" just a block down from our apartment. We walked there today. I did not have high expectations, so was not crushed when we found it to be a concrete path around a green lake. It is an effort of the community to have green space, a place to exercise and a safe place to sit and think. Mission accomplished, and every small step counts. We are so used to beautiful green spaces filled with jungle gyms and swings, that it made me sad to not have a swing or fun place for Ceiba to play. It made my mind stray to that place all Foreign Service parents sometimes go, the "are we depriving our children of xyz" thoughts. I know better. I know that while she may miss (heck we all may miss) many comforts of life in the States, we see the bigger picture. The bigger picture of the opportunity this lifestyle can give us, of the expanded view our minds may grow into and of the important work each person can make for our country's diplomacy.
Wow, I'm getting too deep. Really I just wanted a swing to push her in. Instead we found a deer in a pen and a questionable slide, but we did okay. Every day that we walk out our door to see something new here, I am happy.
Two little boys were visibly not in school, and from across the lake we saw them swimming in the not clean green water. By the time we came around, they were asking for money and smiling. I know the drill by now; I know we will be asked for money… a lot… by almost everyone we pass on the street. We smiled at them, and I politely said I would not be giving them money. So we played on the slide together instead… and giggled and smiled some more. We bid them goodbye and walked on, where I stopped to take a picture or two with my phone. They ran back up to ask for their picture to be taken. I obliged happily and enjoyed their joy to see themselves in my camera. Again, our cheery goodbye.
They are sweet boys… little boys without much in this world. I wish I could fix the ones cleft lip and palate. I wish I could give them all the money they want. I wish I could feed them everyday. I wish they had a good, safe home to sleep in and a school to spend their days. I will find a way to make a difference while we are living in Bangladesh, whether to 2 sweet little boys or many more. The need is great, and the available hands and hearts are not nearly enough.