September through my eyes

When I picture the calendar year in my mind, it is January through August on the left side and September through December on the right.   Odd, I know.

The year isn't evenly broken into 6 months and 6 months, nor is it neatly in 3 or 4 columns.  It is a little awkward, my year.

When September arrives, I feel like we are 'comin' round the bend' in the year.   There is a freedom about September that hits me.

The month of September in Honduras is an entire month of celebrating the Independence of this great country.    September 1 is Flag Day, September 10 is Day of the Child and from there, we head into the most important day, September 15.

Before IVA opened, I never understood the huge parade, the incredible expense of all aspects of the 15th and the cancellation of classes for almost an entire month in public schools.   It was beyond my capacity to grasp.

Two years ago, the students really taught me the importance of patriotism and love for country.   They are incredibly proud to prepare their acts for the parade and to execute them well.      These very same students created their own fundraiser to sell paintings and art items to raise funds to buy band instruments and costumes.

Because they are proud, I am proud!

I love parade days around here.  These days give me the opportunity to open my spiritual eyes and see God's great work in our students and their families.    I remember the tiny 7th graders in 2014 and see how faithful God has been to bring them to their first goal - graduation from 9th grade.   Somehow, watching them all walk down the dusty streets together, with my own children interspersed among them, is powerful.

September is also the month that we start the application process for the incoming students for 2017.   This is our fourth attempt at the process and it just does not get any easier.    There are always many more applicants than spaces, there are stories to sort through and much prayer to be said.

And then, today, the memory of September 11, 2001.   My Aidan was 1 and I was playing with him on our carpeted floor in McKinney, TX, while Alex was on a business trip.   The TV began showing harrowing footage of death and destruction in my own US.      It took Alex some time to get home to us and Aidan had no idea what was going on.    I will never forget.

Today, I feel pride in being an American.   My country is not perfect, but I was born in freedom.   I was born and raised in a place where, as a woman, I could study and seek the American dream, if I wished.   I was considered an individual with important rights.     This is something worth celebrating.

September is a month of remembrances for me and for our Honduran students.    From the horrific to the celebration of freedom...  we can each find reasons to be thankful.


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