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Persistence Alone

My grandfather grew up in a small apartment in Lawrence, Massachusetts with fourteen older brothers and sisters. His mother stayed at home to watch after the family, and his father worked in a dry goods store.

His parents came from Italy to Ellis Island with no money. He grew up poor.

When he was ten or so he began to work at the dry goods store as well. His job was mainly to run into the rat infested basement and get tins of spaghetti to bring upstairs. He was allowed to keep a portion of the money, but most of it went to his parents.

Thinking, Traveling, Thanking.

On Chocolate Milk in a Wine Glass

In my short 19 years on this lovely planet, I've lived in the US. I've traveled to the Cayman Islands, England, Spain, France (and Monaco), Italy (and the Vatican City), Canada, and Ecuador (the Galapagos included).

I love traveling. Since I was a little girl, I've dreamed of traveling to China, and I still intend on making it there someday. But in little travel I have done, I noticed two things: 1) how different everything seemed and 2) how familiar everything seemed. Both of things things were very important to travel and to putting me in the mindset that I often fall into while traveling.

We're all people. We all live on the same planet. We all breathe the same air. We all care about similar things. But there were some things that I knew I could never experience, never feel. Ever.

In Ecuador, the group I was traveling with visited as many schools as we could and donated as much as possible to the schools. I always left the schools sobbing, without fail. It was a tremendous experience. There was one encounter in particular in the school we visited in the Amazon region of Ecuador.

We drove up to the village on our big coach bus and the girls all gathered in a cluster just outside the door. They each held bunches of flowers in their hands and as each one of us stepped off the bus, they'd exclaim in unison "Hola" and one of the girls would push a flower into your palm. It was a very warm and joyful welcome. We got situated off the bus, introduced ourselves to the kids, and then we got our boots on because we were going to plant trees. Each of the kids were instructed to choose one of us by taking our hand in theirs and wait patiently beside us until everyone had found a partner. They then led us up the rather steep hillside to an area with a bunch of markers in the ground. This marked the hole where we would plant our tree.

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