Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant
It has been the fourth month of our sabbatical travels. It feels we left Poland years ago. Time passes slowly as it should. We have met so many people, seen so many places and had several experiences. Even the four weeks in the US feel like half a year. Here and Now.
I do not envy many of you, our loyal readers, trapped in your daily routines of our crazy civilization and pursuing stuff. After four months on the road I think we have developed enough distance to remove ourselves from that craziness. That is one of many huge benefits of taking a sabbatical.
Traveling with the whole family has taught us a few things so far. We were proud to begin our journey with light luggage (it could have been even lighter if we shaved off some books). Well, it is easy to do so at the beginning. We are learning to resist the urge to buy unnecessary things along the way. There is always temptation to buy this or that and the kids do not make this task any easier. The simple logic of “if we buy it, will you find extra room in your backpack to carry it?” has not been enough. Thank God our car and backpacks have limited space. The human nature to have more and more is not easy to rein in. When we travel though certain things become so much more obvious and immediately felt. While living in the house things just keep accummulating everywhere without us realizing it.
Another lesson of ours has been the packing and food logistics. Due to the limited time and space storing capability we need to constantly manage our inventory. Excessive, pershiable groceries will not last long in the trunk of the car. It is simply too hot in the desert. A bit of a challenge in the US is that you cannot buy food in small packaging. The smallest portion of butter is for example for about 5 days. Buying individual eggs instead is also a foreign concept here. The smallest portion is usually a dozen. No wonder it is extremely tough to fight obesity here.
Back in Central America we would usually hand wash our laundry. Here in the US we love visting the laundromates. They are very fast, convenient and inexpensive. Some of them even have free wi-fi. We have used the additional features of laundromats extensiveley, especially during the final exams and videoconfrence sessions (via skype) between our kids and their teachers in Poland.
BTW, we said it once but must say it again; the headmaster and the headteachers of Wojtek (Ms. Malgorzata) and Aniusia (Ms. Joanna) plus their English teacher, Ms. Malgorzata, have been extremely supportive in our homeschooling endeavors.
Another great redicovery of ours as well as a perfect place for homeschooling have been public libraries. The libraries like many educational facilities in the US are simply superb attracting a lot of talent from around the world. I was priviliged to study in the US at two great universities and visited many more seeing the wealth of resources not only for education but also for doing sports. I am ashamed to admit that it has been a while since I last visited a library myself. Here in Moab we all just love spending time at the local library. It has so much to offer; a vast collection of books, audiobooks, DVDs, a special section for children with a playroom with toys, computers with educational games. Needless to say it offers free internet and you can use many multi-media facilities as well. Interesting events like children’s book reading, music sessions etc take place everyday. Right next to it there are some ballparks where the kids can watch their US peers play baseball or softball.
Last but least I would like to mention public parks. Like libraries they typically are of high quality here being perfect places for relaxation. Many of them offer creativity stimulating toys like the one below. Enjoy!
Once again one of my favorite sayings turns out to be true: The best things in life are free.