Auckland, New Zealand
Another dinner out.
Another question: how have you changed as a family as a result of the trip?
Now *that’s* a hard one!
The first thought springing to one of the younger minds was that ERgirl3 loves Dadda so much more now. True.
An honest older child appraisal is that living together so closely for such an extended period with no means of escape from each other taught us more clearly what pushes each other’s buttons. True again.
But that was all they could come up with. No-one had any further ideas.
So the questioner probed differently: are we rich here?, do you think we need to have so much?
Everyone agreed that, without a doubt, New Zealand is richer than most of the places we travelled to. But Jgirl15 observed, “We have seen we can get by with less stuff, but whether we WANT to is a different matter.” Honest.
Kboy12 added, “We’re definitely more thankful now for what we do have.”
Mother whispered a prompt: what about Big Brother Mouse?
Ah yes, we’re going to work to sponsor another book for kids in Laos. We have come up with some more ways to do this…..Mboy6 suggested that we give money that is gifted to us to the fund, and every time we have a haircut at home instead of at the hairdresser’s we can put the money we would have spent towards the sponsorship, and whenever we find money on the ground we’ll put it in the elephant (we were given an elephant before we went away for saving money in, and we’re trying to fill it up again for BBM).
Additionally, we have been in contact with the BBM founder and discovered that one of the things he would really like to see coming in to the country is “educational type toys” – the sort that are sold in museum shops, that people keep for a while and then lose interest in – toys/activities that illustrate a scientific principle or perhaps construction technique (things like a Roman arch or solar system model, globe or microscope, anatomical model or pyramid construction set). I am convinced there must be a lot of this type of thing lying around developed nations and we’re going to try to work out how to get some of them to Laos!
(By the way, some of you readers have said you will contribute if we put up a paypal account – thanks for the idea and the support – we need to work out how to do it!)
But back to how our family has changed. Rob had a few more ideas than the children:
* we’ve learnt how to deal with new and challenging situations; everyone has grown
up more, become more independent, yet at the same time become more
interdependent, being content with each others’ company. The children have gone
from being quite self-conscious about speaking a different language to being
comfortable even doing the shopping in a foreign tongue.
* we’ve learnt (again – it’s not that we didn’t know it already!) how selfish we can be,
but also how much fun we can have together
* we’ve learnt how privileged we are, and now the challenge is to see how that is
going to affect our lives in the future