“The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another, when we are there in the most attentive and caring way. “ -Jack Kornfield
There is something so different about walking down a dirt path, surrounded by children happy to just be walking with you. Of course, the feeling is mutual. The slower pace allows all your senses to engage and more fully experience the surroundings- the nuances in the landscapes, feel the sun on your shoulders, smell the smoky air, the sound of palm fronds blowing in the wind and goats calling out as you walk by. It is simple. Just walking together.
We walked down old paths this exchange, as one of the volunteers with us hadn’t been back since her first trip in 2006 with Cross Cultural Solutions. She roomed with Amy for 3 months, when the original seeds for the project were planted. It was this same path that we meet Eryam in 2009 for the first time, our first scholarship recipient, right near the old CCS compound.
Over the years the volunteers have always reflected that time with our “hillside kids” are among the connected moments they reflect on. Hot classrooms overflowing to capacity makes it hard to make personal connections (in one trip), but slow walks on hillsides, sharing a fan ice, watching a child giggle as they go about their chores… these are the important places. Hearts connect in an intimate way to the day-to-day cadence of these lives thousands of miles from ours, yet so close in our hearts.
Photo credits: Kate Landis & Dickie Wright