Since Sunday, she has settled in with her host family for the next two months, as she learns more about the culture, the language and the customs of the people with whom she has come to share her life. The first days were a bit of adjustment, dealing with a little homesickness–if she hadn’t missed us a bit, I would have been more worried!–but now that she is with the wonderful host family she says she is happy and more at ease.
Eventually, Lara will be teaching English and Gender Equity in a middle school somewhere in Togo. Forty-four young people, including Lara, are in the present Peace Corps group in Togo. Amazing young people out to share in another culture and widen their understanding and perspective of the world. Forty-four light beings traveling to share their talents and gifts and who will receive so much more than they can ever imagine!
To say I miss her is to put it mildly! My heart is with her on every step of the journey. I woke up at this time and she was the first person my thoughts went to, thinking is she sleeping well, is she eating, what is her day like. By now she is well on her way beginning the day.
I went to the refrigerator to get some cold water…my thoughts immediately went to her, thinking the family does not have a refrigerator. They cannot get cold water whenever they want; she cannot get a drink of cold water when she wants.
Yesterday it was 90 degrees in Wisconsin. I had the air conditioning on. It was 90 degrees in Togo, as I was able to speak to her for ten minutes via Skype and on her cell phone, the use of which we keep at a minimum. The first two calls were less than a minute. Yesterday was the longest. We are economizing and I think she feels a bit awkward to have a phone, in the midst of so much poverty. Returning to the temperature–I thought, “Yes, I can live in coolness; she cannot; the family she is living with cannot. So much we take for granted, when so many in the world live without. Now my daughter is going to experience an entirely new level of what it means to live with less things, less convenience, less water, less food. But she will experience the intimacy of people– that is so beautiful! People who live simplicity… When I taught in Kenya almost 40 years ago, that was the image impressed upon my heart — the simplicity of the people. No facade. No pretense.Yes, I miss her everyday and I think about her so often throughout the day but now I know that she is happy and following her dream and she will be okay.