3 Amigos

It’s not exactly what you’re thinking – these 3 really ARE 3 Amigos. It started many years ago, when an inspired Songbird came home from school and announced she wanted to volunteer her summer in Central America for Amigos. I was thrilled, and terrified. My amazing daughter was following her compassionate heart and wanted to leave at the age of 16 to work and live FAR FAR AWAY for a whole summer. What’s more, she wanted to live independently in a local host community and work on a community sponsored initiative for 10 weeks! This is what Amigos does: they train youth locally to serve rural C&S American communities who have initiatives with Pan American partner agencies . I asked, “sweetie, can’t we just find a nice church group and you can go and do work with them in Appalachia or something like that?” She answered, “Mom, you raised me to be this person and now you have to let me.”  GULP. I nodded, knowing I had acted like an elitist, a racist, and a hypocrite (really, I was – sometimes these stupid reactions are like the air we breath!). It took me some time  to ‘get it’ – to let go and let her go. Indeed, the world needs her just as she needs the world. And so, the family affair with Amigos began. Songbird flew off to Mexico with Amigos. Then Twinkletoes set off with the same program, but on her own totally unique community service adventure to Nicaragua. After 2 amazing Amigos experiences, it became clear that our family had found a great program in which our kids can serve – and who is going to argue with great? (Hey, I’m a teacher, we always steal other people’s best ideas!) Waffles thought about arguing with ‘great’, but he didn’t get too far holding the line that he wasn’t a ‘follower’ and therefore wasn’t going to South America or Central America. He’s right – he’s not a follower. Waffles, joining as a veteran family member, is making the experience totally his own. He’s a sib, yes, but he’s totally his own guy. He’s going, and he CHOSE it.  He came home one day and said Amigos visited his Spanish class and he’d been swayed. (He had even started the online application without telling me). Waffles will get his assignment in February. After 2 kids and 2 experiences that were truly transformative, I’m darn excited to watch my ‘littlest biggie’ go off on his own for an adventure in service. And, to put a little exclamation on the whole Amigos “thang”, Songbird is returning as a program supervisor this summer….in…..(bated breath)…..Ecuador. Mmmm-hmm.
Put this program on your family radar – IT ROCKS!  But even more, my 3 Amigos are my heroes.They are. I’m in awe of their spirits, their hearts, their intellects, and the ways each of them expresses all of this in unique and amazing ways.
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6 responses to “3 Amigos

  1. I am amazed at how fearless kids can be. As an adult, I know I let fear get in the way – I could do more and I want to do more. This is inspiring!

  2. Great advice, and what a wonderful group of biggies you have.

  3. Hopefully my kids' mama does as good of a job of raising them as your kids' mama did!

  4. So, so very cool. Big freaking momedal. Huge.

  5. Pingback: It’s how we roll! | Under The Acacia Tree

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