I just returned from a vacation with my sweet man. We visited Puerto Plata, in the Dominican Republic. We had a wonderful break from this harsh winter and my highlight was visiting The New Horizon School, a school where Haitian children can go to school (when they don’t have ID for public school). It’s operated through a charity called 2nd Chance International.
The Haitian population is often discriminated against in Dominican and there can be barriers to attending the public schools. We spent a morning at the school and visited each classroom and joined the children for recess and lunch break. The children were delightful. They wanted to connect with us and taught us some of their games. There’s no playground at this school, but they know other ways to play.
There was a language barrier for me as many of them speak Creole at home and Spanish at school. I used my high school French to introduce myself and that was enough to open the door. Most of the children had open hearts. They wanted to touch us and make a meaningful connection. Some wanted to cuddle. They were sweet and open to connecting with strangers.
I considered what would happen with us if we visited a classroom in Canada. Most of our children have been taught not to trust strangers and certainly don’t touch them! What would they do without their playgrounds?
The Heart that Loves is Always Young…I believe this saying and it’s written on my bedroom wall to remind me. It helped me heal my broken heart and continues to inspire me to remain open through this journey called life. I have found love in the most unexpected places.
I aim to remain open to love and strangers. This delivers a rich life to me and often brings more to me than I ever imagined! I’d like to share one small example. I regularly deliver small business workshops and I met a woman in an audience years ago. When she learned that I had written a couple of books, she asked me where she might find a writing group. At that time, I was hosting one in my home and I invited her (right away) to join the group. I learned that she was here from Australia for a year as her husband had work in Toronto. We have been able to stay in touch through social media over the years and she has had a few children and earned her PhD! I reached out as I hope to visit Australia in 2020 and I found out that her PhD is about the power of sharing our stories. Wow! How synergistic. We are SO excited to reconnect and plan to do some interesting things this year as we prepare for even more fun together in 2020!
It’s quite rewarding to remain open to love and strangers…for me. What do you think?
Silver Linings Gala - Monday, November 25th