So much, SO MUCH to tell, and yet, so difficult to get started. How does one begin to unravel a miracle?
It was less than one week ago when I was nudged (!!) to get going on a second box to my friend D in Kandahar, and SO MUCH has happened since then. I am steeped in the wonder of it all, as it is growing so much bigger than me, and I think I knew from the start that it might, and so I was afraid... but I am slowly beginning to learn that when I feel that twinge of fear, it is really a call to participate. I am blessed to be in a place in my life where I can hear that call, as it is too often easy to get lost in the busyness of life and stay well away from those quiet but insistent nigglings. This blog was a leap, and in response, I have received generosity, kindness, excitement, LOVE, and it is indeed swallowing me up, and it is wonderful. So THANK YOU to those who have already taken your own leaps in contacting me, and to those of you who are hearing in the niggling voice and who think you MIGHT contact me, and to those of you who are cheering us on from your keyboards and sending your love that way. We are part of something BIG, and we are SO LUCKY for that! So thanks for all who have joined us for the ride!
So, the news. Well, I may have mentioned that box #1 was send a week and a half ago- some time around the 13th of December. D said it would probably take at least a month to get to her, but with it being around the holidays, it would likely take a bit longer. Early this week I wrote to her to ask her a few questions that some of you have been asking me, so I wasn't surprised to get a note in my inbox this morning from her. I was, however, stunned into silence when her first line read: "Your package arrived this morning IN RECORD TIME..." (emphasis mine). Nine days. It took nine days. How does a package that is about the size and weight of a microwave make its way to Toronto and then to Kandahar- from Winnipeg- in nine days? The week before Christmas? If that isn't a miracle, I don't know what is! So the great news is that D has apple cider and hot chocolate mixes and shampoo and body wash and chocolates in time for Christmas, and that just makes this whole endeavour even more incredible. And she also had some news:
Your package arrived this morning in record time. It was fantastic!! This is exactly the kind of things that I had in mind, and I can assure you they will be put to good use. One of the ideas we're kicking around at the moment is a teacher training program, so these resources will come in handy. The wonderful little treats you threw in for me will be savoured! Thank you so much.
I am now liaising with CIDA and they are buliding 50 schools in the area and have a plan to train 3000 teachers. Whatever you send will be useful to someone.
Fifty schools! Three THOUSAND teachers! My people need books! Now again, I have already heard from some of you, and you had some questions. Tova- you were wondering about sending from elsewhere in Canada. And Sharyn, you were asking about languages and language resources. Those questions are addressed here:
I believe the package can be dropped off at any military institution - base or reserve unit. I know there are quite a few possibilities in Vancouver. In short, the answer is yes, so please feel free to share my address.
The kids here speak Pashto. Language resources? Pashto? ESL resources? I'm sure both would be useful.
And, to Jingle Bella, your website information is AWESOME, so thanks so much for that! I'll be doing some reading, printing and sending from that site for sure, and I'll send the web link directly to D so she can access it, too. Anyone else who has a link to an especially helpful teacher resources site with free printable activities, etc, please share!
So, in the final days before the holiest of days, we have been embraced with love. Thank you, all. As to next steps, I think we will all be busy enjoying our families and our friends over the coming days, and so we needent stress ourselves additionally by rushing this. The seeds have been planted. Lets care for ourselves, and resume in the new year.
If you are dying to mail me things for the box (Jingle Bella- your inflatable globe idea is brilliant! Can't wait for those!), you can pop it in the post:
If you live in Canada and would like to assemble your own box to send, email me for D's mailing address which I now have permission to share privately: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, some final words from D:
Thank you so much for putting this together. I can't help but feel a little guilty for venting my frustrations on you. Please thank anyone and everyone who helped you put this package together.
You're a star.
This guilt we feel for opening ourselves up to love- I assured D that my motives were mostly selfish. How wonderful does it feel to do something great? To be part of something bigger than ourselves? To make meaning?
Have a blessed and joyous holiday, and we'll see each other in the new year. Love wins, G. You were right!