Reflecting on Roots & Shoots from the Carribean
Greeting from Turks and Caicos! It’s school vacation week, and I’m so grateful to be spending the week on these islands.
I would like to share a quick story that really touched me this week. The afternoon before I hopped on a plane, my Roots & Shoots group visited the nursing home in Plymouth after school. I considered not going because I had been so busy all week that I hadn’t packed yet, but I am so glad that I listen to the little voice in my heart saying that I needed to go. There were only a handful of my peers who went to the nursing home, and it was a rather quiet, uneventful, and even a tad boring for us teens because so many of the seniors were sick. Typically this is one of my favorite volunteering adventures, but I stood there for two hours calling out bingo numbers and chit-chatting about the weather. If you know me, then you know that I am always running around, multi-tasking and checking off things from a mile-long to-do list. I feel like I always need to be active and productive and be talking about deep things, not the weather. In our quiet and humdrum after-school visit, I found myself glancing down at my watch more often than I would like to admit. However, when we announced that it was time for us to go, the bingo-playing beautiful elderly women chorused, “Already?,” “Wow, times flies when you're having fun,” and “Please promise us you’ll come back soon.” They had been having so much fun. It didn’t take much effort on my part, but we had brought so much joy to them. Time had flown. We were a little light in the darkness, and thus, it was all worth it.
Today is the 26th birthday of Roots & Shoots, meaning that 26 years ago today Dr. Jane sat on her back porch with a group of kids from Tanzania who were ready to take action and make a difference in the world. I stand here with my Roots & Shoots peers and NYLC-ers, carrying on with their desire to change the world. Thank you, Dr. Jane and thank you Roots & Shoots for helping me to change lives, and for changing mine at the same time.
Thank you to everyone who supports me. Until next week!