dimanche, janvier 24, 2010

A door opens?

Yesterday I drove my son to a meeting about a student program for kids traveling overseas.

Rooted in an initiative that came out of World War II, the project sends high school and middle school students to places like Australia, Greece, and, of course France and England to experience other cultures.

Someone, a teacher or a Boy Scout pack leader, has got to recommend the prospective traveler, or they don't get an invitation.

The presentation was a little overly polished for me -- you can tell the leaders have given their sales talks many times.

But in spite of my jaded, journalistic dissection, I couldn't help but get a little excited. As did my son, who was obediently taking notes when the speaker asked us to write something in our application.

The two weeks in France and England is hideously expensive. "You'll have to raise money" I said quietly to Mr. C. He seemed willing to do chores for others, something that he's never shown much eagerness to do at home. As we were leaving, I asked another parent, clearly clued into the kid fundraising bluebook, for idea.

Though we signed up for an interview, Mr. C's dad still must approve, or say it's a no go.

But I had the sense that somewhere, hopefully somewhere really lovely, my dad was smiling.

We're going to try to make this happen, Dad.

I warned my son, as he chattered his way out the school door, that there's a big difference between smart, and smart alec. And I'm never positive, on any given day, on what side of the line he's going to fall.

2 commentaires:

singedwingangel a dit…

My son was invited to go on an exchange thing like that. He now wants to go on a missions trips with Ron Luce and his group which are much more cost affordable and a great way to get ourkids out there volunteering and spreading the message of God.

biglittlewolf a dit…

These kind of experiences are remarkable for kids. If possible, for even longer than two weeks. I worked 3 years (beginning at age 12) to earn the money for two months overseas, with a French family, when I was 15. It changed my life forever.

My elder son was able to benefit from a 10 week program in a French high school at 16, thanks to a scholarship program and his hard work. He'd been overseas many times before (half European), but nothing like this. It was eye-opening and confidence building for him, in the same way it was for me, so many years ago.

We send our children as the best possible emissaries for "differentness" and "sameness" - and all the world is a winner.