Each morning and each evening we teach a special group of older students. Shelby takes the more advanced students while Tori and I take the beginning students, which turn out to all be boys. The boys we teach range from ages 18 to 23, yet I am convinced they are 7 year olds. (I also believe they are doing life right, being old kids, rather than young adults). They are so full of joy- always laughing, smiling, playing. They love being together, learning English. They like homework and love when we end the day with a game. Life is happy. They may not know what an airplane feels like when it takes off or the difference between two and too, but they know that life is happy.


They have so little, yet they are so optimistic and hopeful for the great life they have in store. We have everything. Everything. Our opportunities, our abilities, our options, are so grand and verbose and wonderful, yet we are not nearly as optimistic. The odds for success are evidently in our favor, yet we are not gracious for this. They find hope in simply a few hours of English class every day. They see themselves becoming something from nothing. You ask them what they want to be when they grow up, and as if you’re asking young children, they respond with great dreams of: chef! Waitress! Engineer!

I am shocked at the realization that while the odds may be in our favor for success, we have forgotten to dream. We have forgotten to show gratitude. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand how our perspectives of life became so skewed, but I am determined to change this. I am determined to dream again, and to be forever gracious to be able to dream.



  1. Nicole you are inspiring all of us to dream! You have already affected so many people with your travels and writing. I am so proud of you. xoxo Mom


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