An Ocean of Dreams
Today I started a first experience with 21 wonderful CA students and 4 tremendous adult chaperones. The flight was long but smooth. We arrived super late or early depending on what one considers 1:00am. We took a short nap, woke up and toured Lima, the capital of Peru.
Lima, a city built on a desert. Most of Peru’s population live there. More than 10,000,000 people. We visited a beautiful cathedral, The Governments Palace, a museum that houses wonderful displays of Native artifacts that date back long before year zero. We even saw a mummy who dates back to the 8th century. The most exciting thing we saw exists under the cathedral we toured. Under the church the early Catholic leaders built catacombs, a burial place for any catholic who died. Buried in an incredibly organized pattern were more than 25,000 human remains. All open and on display and all dating back to the mid 1500’s.
As amazing as it was to experience Lima, the most intimate and powerful moment developed as a result of one family’s loss and their willingness to keep their daughter’s dreams alive. A young lady’s dream was to serve Peru as a missionary but a couple of months before departure she died in a single car accident. As a result, a portion of her remains were scattered at the beaches in Peru.
The students and I stood on these beaches and with the powerful Pacific Ocean waves pounding the lava rocks that run for miles we sat and reflected on how magnificent this earth really is. After several minutes I gathered the students and discussed the story I just mentioned about the young lady who passed away. One of her favorite flowers was the lily so that morning I marched to a local market and purchased a lily for her brother to hold in her memory and white carnations for all the other students and chaperones to hold in order to demonstrate our support and love for him and his strong desire to keep his sister’s dreams alive. The young man was asked to lead us to the edge where the ocean water and land become one. He was then asked, upon his ready, to throw the beautiful Lillie’s into the ocean and we would all follow by throwing our flowers as well. By so doing we pledged to keep his sister’s dreams alive by serving those in need. We also pledged to support him because his sister’s dreams have now become his reality. You see in two short days we will be helping to build a kid’s dormitory for a small village so that kids can have easy and safe access to school. In Peru, especially in the rural areas, kids have to walk sometimes for miles just to attend school. Many families choose or are forced to choose based on financial stresses not to send their kids to school. With the support of these dorms, students will be able to stay close to the school and attend classes daily. We all know that sometimes breaking chains is what often brings change.
Back to the ocean and dreams. Finally, by tossing our flowers into the ocean we pledged to live with dreams and to live daily pursuing those dreams. No matter where the ocean tide may take us, we all have the right to dream and see those dreams fulfilled.
Until next time. Pura Vida.