i always went to private schools and there were always people with more.
as a teenager it seemed that what we had was never enough.
as an adult i've become much more aware of the realities of life.
i suppose this happens to everyone when the bills must be paid out of your own bank account.
now having traveled to 39 countries, i've come to realize exactly how much i have and how much i am thankful for.
spending time in asia and north africa quickly opens your eyes to the circumstance of millions of people around the world.
as americans, we have enough.
more than enough.
while i know that there are many in the US in need, the need is truly much greater in other parts of the world.
in laos, three quarters of people earn less than $2 a day.
traveling in laos this summer, caitlin and i were privileged to meet an american man named michael sebastian. caitlin and i were shopping in a store and found him sitting on the floor reviewing english with a small group of workers from the shop. he gave up his life in america to serve the needs of the students of laos.
they need to learn english. so he teaches them.
they need a place to live. so he houses them.
they need someone to help guide them forward. so he counsels them.
michael asked if we wanted to come to his advanced english class that evening. we later called him to make arrangements to attend and he sent two students on motorbikes to pick us up and bring us to his home. (my first time on a bike!)
the evening class was full of boys, likely ages 15-25, who were all hoping to become proficient in english and better their lives. they asked us questions about where we were from and michael googled both new york and savannah to show them pictures. in a tv show one of them had heard of hell's kitchen and wanted to know if it was beautiful. (kind of an odd question!) they were impressed by the live oak trees of savannah. (questioning is that real?)
we were particularly taken with one student, her, 2nd row with his arms around the guys on either side of him, who michael has helped earn a scholarship to a united world college school in the netherlands. he had come home for the summer and was back in english class to share his story with the others. it didn't hurt that he had quite the charming personality and winning smile. this opportunity will change his life and without michael it wouldn't have been possible.
you can hear from the kids themselves in this video they've put together.
so with this in mind, i'd like to help michael continue to fund his program. his ability to help these students depends completely on donations from people like you and me.
i plan to donate and i hope you will too. our 90 minutes with michael and his students were the highlight of our month long asian adventure and it's not an experience you can find in a travel guide.
with each year that passes i continue to realize that buying more things doesn't provide happiness. but giving of ourselves, through both time and money, does.
i have enough.
more than enough.
now i'd like to try and better the lives of some of the truly less fortunate.
will you join me?
find more information at this Go Fund Me page i've set up.
you can also read about caitlin's take on our laos experience on her blog.