Little babies from the rural parts of Ethiopia were cute enough… but Mike’s kindergarten class? WOW. All of them stole my heart. They were so welcoming and eager to talk to me and full of light and love. Their faces and enthusiasm and pure joy out of just being near you is enough to make you want to drop whatever it is you’re doing in your life at that moment and hug and squeeze and cuddle with them FOREVER. Okay, I think I made my point. I just miss them dearly.
When I first met them, I was pretty shocked. Mike made them excited about my visiting every time they held class, so they were pretty excited a few days ahead. They made signs with my name and little handprints. By the time I popped my face inside of their window in their tiny mud-built classroom, I was overwhelmed with their reaction. The whole class jumped out of their seat and raced to fight over who would get to hold my hand and literally tackled me with kisses and hugs. I almost fainted with happiness.
His class made me sort of stop and admire how innocent children truly are. They are pretty cut off from technology and the fast-paced life of the Western world, and although difficult to keep up with information at times, it’s really a blessing in their community. They are able to carry on with life as it’s been done for thousands of years and there are many family get-togethers and not to many “I can’t make it, I’m so behind on work” excuses. I saw a great quote recently by philosopher Lao Tzu:
“ If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present. ”
Everyone has nostalgia, perhaps regret, and anxiety about their future, but overwhelmingly I saw that Ethiopians knew how to live in the present. Isn’t that what life is about?