Friday - Home at last! After a short delay in Atlanta, Drew, Chelcie, Tom and the rest of the P.I.C. Crew made it safely back to Knoxville. All were tired, but full of stories of the life-changing adventure they had experienced. We collected the luggage, passed around hugs, and made promises of a "reunion" in the near future for the purpose of sharing pictures and stories of time well spent.
Drew actually shared a little bit of what he observed on "the field," and I cherish those precious moments because they don't come around often, but Drew shares his heart, it's definitely worth it to listen. He has more insight and compassion than people realize. On the surface, he's a laid-back, easy-going teenager, but underneath, and for anyone who looks hard enough to find it, he's got a huge heart!
We packed six people into the Camry and headed for home, but not before a brief run to Chick-fil-a to satisfy their craving for "home-cookin'!" The little kids played on the playground while I was briefed on the highlights of the trip. The "Hot Dog" night made an impression on them. Apparently, they had twice the turn-out they had expected for a hot dog dinner, and ended up having to split the hot dogs down the middle to make enough food to feed all the people who came to the church. The stories of extreme poverty broke the hearts of the "spoiled" Americans as they came to terms with the abundance we have here in the States. Tom mentioned that he skipped two meals because he just couldn't bear to eat, knowing that the Nicaraguan people just outside the gate of the PIC House had no food. Tom's heart was broken for the 5 ladies who helped work on the house who were not invited "inside" for lunch. He had only 4 bags of trail mix which he gave to them, but that meant one lady had to do without. The kids talked about the way the Nicaraguan children shared what they had with their sisters and brothers, and how they pocketed their gummy bears for later, then asked for another to give to their siblings. Drew shared a bottle of water with some teenage boys who willingly shared one bottle among five of them. How it must have touched Drew's heart to know that he had only to ask for more and it would be given to him, but the boys he'd befriended were not allowed any at all, except what Drew had chosen to share with them.
Today I am grateful to have my family back home safely. They are a little tired and "hung-over" from their adventure and day of travel yesterday, but all is well. Tom and I took a walk this morning to share breakfast together and talk without interruption. On the way back home, my dad cruised by and stopped to ask if we'd like passes to the Nike Open. We took him up on his offer as the deal included VIP passes to the hospitality venue. Tom mentioned as Dad pulled away that he was going from one extreme to the other! In Nicaragua, there was little food provided for the people while here in America we can eat until we can eat no more. Gluttony, I believe is the term for it. Just the thought of seeing all that food made me lose my appetite!
Tom and I enjoyed our morning walk and our early afternoon at the golf tournament. Funny, we haven't spent this much time together since...well, let's just say it's been a while! I saw a few of my former students at Fox Den- Riley Hunley, David Jester, and Hunter Barnhart. Hunter had his sketch book along with him and he shared his comic book sketches with me. His eyes lit up when I asked him how "his book" was coming along. I tried to explain to Tom that Hunter is one of the kids that is invisible to most people. He's quiet, kinda artsy, and a little bit different from the rest, but he's a child with a lot to offer. He's the kid the other kids tease, pick last for their team, and whisper about behind his back but not out of his earshot. Tom brushed it off, but I have Hunter on my mind even now. I'm already looking forward to purchasing a copy of his first book!
Back at home, I tried to coax Chelcie out of the recliner to work on her sorority resume, but no such luck, she's down for the count and I opted for a blog update while Addie washes my car for a dollar and Sam begs me to watch his "popper" fly into the air for the six hundredth time.