The Faces of Children
I awakened early this morning to the sound of the Arabic call to prayer being broadcast from a mosque across the street from the home where I am staying in Cairo. After 18 hours of travel, followed by a car ride through moonlit Egyptian streets, I was fuzzy-headed and almost thought I'd dreamed that beckoning song when I awoke for good a bit later on. But no--I am indeed in Cairo, a place unlike any I've ever visited before.
There has been a peaceful revolution here, in case you haven't heard, and the people are proud of what they are accomplishing. Still, the resulting economic turmoil has had an impact as tourism has declined and businesses struggle; streets are lined with mile after mile of half-finished buildings. Driving in Cairo is both thrilling and horrifying: there are no speed limits and no traffic signals. There are lane markers but they are universally ignored and positions go to the driver who is bravest--or most foolhardy. Cars pass within inches and go whizzing by on the shoulder; horns blare constantly. And in the midst of all this are pedestrians who risk their lives to dart between cars and trucks to reach their destination. I will never complain about traffic in the U.S. again!
I have learned one Arabic word, thank you, which is pronounced "show-kron" and I have had many opportunities to use it. I have been welcomed as though I am a combination of visiting royalty and long-lost family. I spent the day at Trillium - the Montessori House preschool, where I will be teaching Positive Discipline in the Classroom starting tomorrow. I wandered through the classrooms, which looked for all the world like those at home in Early Head Start. I met and talked with the staff and teachers, and waved at the children. Oh, the children: they are, after all, the reason I am here and the reason my hosts care so much about Positive Discipline. Their dark eyes stare at my blonde hair and my unfamiliar face, but then they smile.
No matter where I travel, my mission is clear. If I can make the world a safer, more connected place for one child--and even better, if I can teach others to do the same--then my work is joy and my life is worthwhile. I am privileged and blessed to be here, and to be able to share Positive Discipline with others. More to follow!
| Posted by cheryl | Wednesday, March 14, 2012|