The last thing the children said to me was "please don't forget us, Sis." The tears were already flowing but this just started them all over again. What a heartbreaking thought, that they actually think I could forget them? But SubhanAllah, why wouldn't they think that, they had already been "left and forgotten" by there loved ones when they were swept away by the tsunami. A child's heart sometimes sees things from an emotional viewpoint and not a logical one.
Simply put, it was the trip of a lifetime. In the months leading up to our trip, we did our best to be thoroughly prepared. We meticulously packed our suitcases, skimmed the English-Indonesian Dictionary, purchased gifts to distribute, and collected books and lessons to teach once we arrived. But nothing prepared us for what we found in Takengon.
On a recent trip abroad, I visited the GiveLight home that is situated in the mountains of Takengon in the region of Banda Aceh, where the tsunami hit worst in 2004. I took my 10-year-old son with me; it was a life-changing experience for both of us.
"Every single person in this room is going to help me change the world"
Such were the words of one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. Her name was Eleanor Josaitis. She watched the Detroit riots in 1967 with deep sadness and frustration. "How?" she wondered, "can I ever make a difference?"