As working parents, we all seem to get locked into our routines. It is often hard to look outside of ourselves and realize we are part of a global community. Mandy Casurella put that into perspective with her guest post this week. Mandy and her husband are preparing to move from Anchorage to Madagascar through an organization called World Venture. Mandy, a professional counselor, and her husband, a medical doctor, plan to use their skills to promote physical, mental, and spiritual health in Madagascar. They've already visited the region. Mandy writes about it in her own words:
As the chopper descended we looked down at the gathering of dark faces through the cloud of red dirt. The village had come to see the foreigners who would pay a short visit to their home. They rushed around us as we deployed the helicopter; taking in our strangeness on this ordinary day. Being stared at had grown routine over the month I had been in Madagascar. Whether it was jogging on the outskirts of town, sitting at the beach, or shopping at the market, we were a sight to see (and occasionally laugh and point at). However, there was one member of our group that evoked a different response. I was acutely aware of her effect on this particular day.
Before I realized it I was on the outside of the crowd, looking in. But at what, I wondered. The group was fixated on one central figure. She captivated their attention, leaving my husband and me trailing in the dust. She was not a foreigner, 6-month-old Isabella was one of them.
Children are the window through which we are reminded how we are all the same. They are the bridge, connecting us with friends, neighbors, strangers, and even enemies. Babies, the purest form of human, cross language and cultural barriers effortlessly. Their innocence and truthfulness is disarming and without pretense.
I think this is why Isabella was by far our most popular group member during our travels. The Malagasy could see past the otherness of her pale skin and blue eyes. They could see how her nature was the same as their children. She spoke the same language. In the face of a babe, no matter the race, culture, or socio-economic class, we see past all that divides us. Reminding me that, being child-like isn’t such a bad thing.