Friday, August 2, 2013

A Trip to Remember

Well, folks you are in for a treat.  RRL is making a rare appearance here in DRRF to tell you about a tradition.  Yes, another one.  But this is like a FOR REALS one.  And he is totally the master-mind behind this intentional blessing in the lives of our kiddos.  In the months before they each start Kindergarten, he takes them on an international mission trip.  Here's the first post in series of efforts to document those trips.
Thanks, Babe, for being intentional about showing our kids the world.

I can't believe it has been a year and a half since I got to take our KJ to visit my sisters family in Colombia. And that it's taken me this long to finally sit down and record all the great things we got to do. 

First of all just the simple fact of taking my, at the time 6 year old, out of the country is amazing to me. The privilege of the two of us traveling together is something I will not soon forget. Everything from the plane ride, to hailing a cab (which I left to my sister and her husband of course), to seeing rich and poor, ancient castles and modern high rises. All of it was so fun to take in with a 6 year old along for the ride. The funny thing to me is most of those things seemed to have little impact on him. I guess because its all new still. It's all a learning experience and he still has yet to live long enough to understand what a "third-world" country is. To him we still were able to talk on Skype so what's the difference between here and there? Yet, I tried my best to just let him ask questions and enjoy seeing cousins and having time for just us.

 After all that the question that comes to mind is, "So what does he remember?" I have asked him and he mainly talks about a few things. That's what I want to record. What seemed important to him at the time. Not to try to understand just to record it and let it be.

He would start with seeing his cousins. My sister had 4 kids very close in age to our own. That being the case he felt very comfortable jumping rot into their routine. Starting with the ride to their house. Their little five seater car held all 7 of us even if it did mean the kids all just riding in the seat. This made for an adventure for him because he definitely does not get to do that here in the States. There were many things to see but mostly just lots of conversation about what the week would hold.

Then there was the house. Though things may have seemed the same in some ways the house is different specifically not having air conditioning throughout. As I remember it it wasn't so hot it was unbearable, but the afternoon siesta and shower before bed were very significant because there was A/C in the bed rooms and that was something to look forward to everyday. 

I am certain he will never forget the trip to the beach. There was plenty of talk on the way there, questions really, about sharks. What if one comes up where we are? How will we see it? How big are they? And of course my answer was pretty much the same. Reassuring him that we wouldn't see sharks and secretly hoping I was right. The nice thing was the beach had a good break between the shallow water and open water. Once he had tested the water just a bit he had his confidence and enjoyed himself. That did not however, keep him from telling his brother and sister how we got in the ocean and had to watch out for sharks. 

As if that wasn't enough fun we also got to go to a place called Los Lagos. This is a water park but with out the slides. Only pools all over the place. Unfortunately when we arrived they were working on the pools and none of them had water. My brother in law talked the into filling one of the pools whole we explored and played at the other activities and the day turned out great. We got out on the paddle boats, ate lunch, played on the playground, and finally got to swim. It was such a fun day.

I think two final things will stick with him. On this trip he had his first Coke. It wasn't so much about the Coke as it was about getting his first one in another country walking to the store carrying it home himself. Maybe a small thing to some but significant to him all the same. The second is similar. It is on this plane ride (to and from actually) that he got to watch Star Wars for the first time. If you have to ask which one, you should talk with your parents about what a real movie is like. Anyway, he is in. He loved it and has even trusted me that the new ones aren't really that good. The force is strong with this one. 

I have to add that I also hope he remembers just sitting and visiting with his cousins as I will remember doing with my sister. I will remember him trying new foods and not liking some of them but having a good attitude anyway. I'll remember getting to go to church with our family and see my brother in law and sister minister to some amazing people,

I'll also remember going to a house of a friend of theirs and feeling blessed by the meal they prepared and the time KJ got to play with cousins and new friends. No doubt I'll remember the carriage ride, amazing wall and castle, and he will too.

 These are memories that I pray we will hold on to and we will allow them to shape us as we continue to learn and grow into who God is calling us to be. 

Love you buddy and can't wait for the next time we get to take a trip just the two of us, whenever that may be. 

1 comment:

Megan said...

I love keeping up with you guys. My oldest brother (do you remember Pat Bills?) does the same thing with his boys but later. He brought my oldest nephew when turning 10 to visit us in Peru, and he is coming with my second oldest nephew (turning 10) next year. They will treasure it forever. Great tradition. And keep doing things to give those kids a global mission perspective!