June 19, 2011


yesterday our family took a piece of paper and secretly wrote down 3 places we'd like to take a vacation someday.  i played along and wrote down:1. south africa: visit friends in delft and take the jr. youth out in a rented van on an outing
2. italy/alps

i could only come up with 2 places.  this game didn't include the u.s. to see family because dash's company pays for us to travel there once a year.  and we all knew that this game would not be reality if my dad's chemotherapy doesn't help him recover from lymphoma.  so as i pondered the idea of a vacation, i wrestled with the idea of doing something just for ourselves vs. for our parents or for our spiritual family of young souls in south africa.  it took a few minutes but i played along and envisaged us in italy surrounded by beauty, good food and a trip up to the alps to enjoy learning how to ski together.

dashiel announced the children's suggestions first.  domani's first 2 choices were jamaica and seychelles.  dyami's were jamaica and mauritius.  ayana's were mauritius and europe.  then it came to mine.  my beloved husband started off by saying that mine were taking ecovillage excursions in places like burkina faso and cote d'ivoire.  we all laughed.  then he joked and said i'd like to take us up country in ghana and visit the permaculture institute. :)  we laughed again (knowing how much hard work and full of potential malaria it would be rather than a vacation).  but when dashiel read out loud that i would like to go to south africa and be with our friends in poverty-stricken areas, i started to cry as they lightheartedly laughed, not considering that this is a real vacation to me.
watching the jr. youth performances

jr. youth performing a dance
the tears welled up from deep in my heart.  my heart longs to be there again.  it misses many friendships and the culture.  it wants to return to a land that opened my heart to love of service and souls.  to me it would be the greatest vacation to share time and more memories together.  many of these souls are part of our spiritual family.  to be with them is to feel God's presence.  all of us felt great joy when with our friends there, not just me.  why would i rather go and be without comforts, good food, or new, interesting and beautiful experiences?

my emotions expressed themselves and were received with tenderness and understanding.  i entered the consultation about possibilities as we dreamed of what we would most enjoy sharing together.  my honesty enabled me to feel closer to my family and we all agreed that in a year or two, we would definitely plan to go visit south africa.  we also agreed that since we are surrounded by heat everyday, and recently lived surrounded by beautiful beaches, a trip to a cooler climate would be a welcome change.

Pinky Gova, a new Baha'i youth
deep within my heart lies a pulse of empathy and love for others who are less fortunate.  something within me struggles enjoying the pleasures of life knowing that others cannot, especially others who i love that are deprived of opportunities to travel.  i find great comfort in helping others, sharing with others, and enabling others to experience the pleasures of life.  i often wish i could do more for them, even sacrificing our time and money to benefit them.  as much as i have enjoyed our vacations (!), right now my heart desires to return to south africa to be with our friends who we love and who have no money to travel within their own province, let alone out of the country.   my heart will mend as i cling to God's Will and see the end in the beginning -- knowing that i will look back and realize why we were meant to leave the land where our hearts remain at home.  all the while, i will continue to love them from afar...

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