Monday, November 17, 2014

IN THE GAP


ABC Legacy’s In the Gap 

Invites the student into the Live Your Legacy NOW progression from Passion to Purpose and Idea to Impact. Students embark on a Hero's Quest and ask the bigger existential questions "Who Am I?” and “Why Am I Here?" as they work together in a 12-week program with other students, college interns and professional mentors in the Bradford Mill Community.

In Howard Thurman's words, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."  In the Gap is an interdisciplinary experiential learning environment for those who want to take a year to discover what they love and what makes them come alive.

Thus, using technology mindfully to enhance the spirit of collaboration, ABC Legacy students and intern identify their passions and ideas, use their creative energy, and Live Their Legacy NOW with purpose and impact.

The following strands are woven together: Technology Awareness. Mindfulness Practice. Creativity. Passion to Purpose. Idea to Impact. Through readings, discussions, and exercises one finds direction and discipline to follow a path of inquiry. Students learn about non-profit organizations and foundations through engagement with their causes. Options to shadow a worker and internships occur within the Bradford Mill Community in preparation for the remainder of the year which may include moving into the broader world whether a service trip in Guatemala, working for an NGO in South Africa, a train trip across Europe, or an internship in Silicon Valley. 

The 12-week program culminates in a celebratory reception where participants share their legacies in a variety of entrepreneurial, artistic and/or social forms. The goal is for it to be meaningful, impactful and sustainable. It could be a TED talk, a social action initiative, a photography show and/or a new company. When not in one of the 12 week programs from Sept -> Nov or Feb -> April, participants are members of the ABC Legacy Incubator in physical and virtual form, where their community continues whether in Concord or halfway around the world.

Live Your Legacy NOW 

From ABC Legacy Internships, Senior Projects, Gap Years; to Start-Ups, High Tech, and Innovation Centers; as well as schools, after-school, and community groups.

The Cycle: 

“When you're working on a start-up or creative idea, a book proposal or a campaign, and things are moving fast, it's intoxicating. We don't want to stop, we think we're in the zone, but we may be in a technology dopamine high. We need to stop and breathe, even if we don't want to. 

In order to move from passion to purpose, idea to impact, we need to take the tech breaks and practice mindfulness to focus and attend, integrate and synthesize. Emptiness helps us get in touch with our intuitive, creative self. Once we settle, BREATHE, and ease back into the parasympathetic nervous system, we can go back to the technology."


Technology: You get jangly, distracted, and ineffective. It's too much technology, too much information. Creative start up juice has run amuck. 

No Technology: You MUST close that laptop and step away from the computer. Leave your phone and go for a walk. Get outside.  Change your environment.

Mindfulness Practice: Go to your yoga studio. Meditate. Walk in nature. Run. Bike. Swim. Clear your head, and become quiet, spacious, empty so you can hear your own thoughts. Stay away from the technology for awhile. Digital Detox for an hour, a day, a weekend, a week, or longer.

Creativity:  Intuition bubbles up. Collaborate face to face. Bounce ideas off each other. Write your ideas. Talk about them. Read a book. Sit and ponder. Passion to Purpose. Idea to Impact. Mind Map. Sketch on the whiteboard. Make a plan of action.

Technology: Then go back to Technology and use it mindfully, until you get all jangly, distracted and overwhelmed, and the process starts again.

Entrepreneurs, students, high tech employees, actually most people need a visual of the cycle to put right on their computers phones and iPads. It is too easy to work 24/7 with the demands of 24/7 connectivity. 

Reading along with research and curriculum to support the cycle:

Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Focus by Dan Goleman
Power of Now by Eckert Tolle (or equivalent mindfulness book)
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence by Deepak Chopra
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
Breaking Out by John Butman
How To Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and their Big Ideas by David Bornstein
Dragonfly Effect: Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker







Friday, October 31, 2014

Dartmouth December Project


ABC Legacy: Alliance for Building Connections to Change is a Millennial Incubator for students, interns and mentors to collaborate as they move from idea to social impact. By using technology mindfully, for social good, they live their legacy as well as create positive digital footprints.


The TextLess Live More Campaign is the model for this process, and their goal is to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving to save lives, prevent tragic accidents, and encourage people to use technology in a mindful manner. 

Project

Rich Levitan '86 of Merritt's Way, the foundation behind TextLess Live More, and Susan Reynolds ’84 of ABC Legacy, are seeking 2 to 3 students for a December Project.

Time Commitment:

1. The project runs between December 2 and December 18.
Days and time are flexible, but we'd love to have a few days the first week where everyone is in the office. This is not mandatory.

2. The Big Event is a Presentation/Reception for the Dartmouth Class of 2019. They will be invited with other students and alumni on December 17 from 5 to 8 pm.

The goals of the project are:

1. To learn about TextLess Live More
2. To work collaboratively with mentors to expand the campaign through innovative strategies
3. To create a social media campaign for TLLM.
4. To learn the Live Your Legacy Now blueprint which incorporates technology awareness, mindfulness practices, and passion to purpose to create social change.

ABC Legacy is located at The Wheelhouse in Concord, MA, a flex space innovation center where 4 Dartmouth graduates work in different fields. Watch the TED Talk "Circling Back to Community, by John Boynton, developer of Wheelhouse.

ABC Legacy is Office 22 and Desk 11.

Please contact: Susan Reynolds at ssreynolds08@gmail.com or 617-281-3845



Dartmouth December Project #2

Seniors at CCHS are seeking Dartmouth College students to mentor and collaborate on an awareness campaign about the "Sexual Assault” and “Sexual Ambivalence Crisis" on College Campuses. The campaign will be targeted to incoming freshmen. 

This is a pro-active way to raise awareness of freshman nationally, but spotlight the positive things that Dartmouth is doing in regard to these issues.

Sponsoring Organizations

ABC Legacy: Alliance for Building Connections to Change is a Millennial Incubator for students, interns and mentors to collaborate as they move from idea to social impact. By using technology mindfully, for social good, they live their legacy as well as create positive digital footprints.

The TextLess Live More Campaign is the model for this process, and their goal is to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving to save lives, prevent tragic accidents, and encourage people to use technology in a mindful manner. 

Time commitment includes:

1. December 2 to December 18 with flex time/telecommuting options, but we'd love to have a few days the first week where everyone is in the office. This is not mandatory. 

2. The Big Event is a Presentation/Reception for the Dartmouth Class of 2019. They will be invited with other students and alumni on December 17 from 5 to 8 pm.


The goals of the project are:

1. To learn the Live Your Legacy Now blueprint which incorporates technology awareness, mindfulness practices, and passion to purpose to create social change.
2. To study the Sexual Assault Crisis on college campuses and study the research on sexual ambivalence and current "hook up" culture.
3. To work with high school seniors to begin to create an awareness campaign.

ABC Legacy is located at The Wheelhouse in Concord, MA, a flex space innovation center where 4 Dartmouth graduates work in different fields. Watch the TED Talk "Circling Back to Community, by John Boynton, developer of Wheelhouse.

ABC Legacy is Office 22 and Desk 11.

Please contact: Susan Reynolds at ssreynolds08@gmail.com or 617-281-3845


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ABC Legacy 2015


ABC Legacy’s Mission is to prepare today's Millennials and Generation Z for the promises and challenges of an increasingly interconnected technological world including the dangers of technology addiction. With a “Live Your Legacy NOW” process that takes students from passion to purpose, and idea to impact, ABC Legacy Millennial Incubator provides the space for an "In the Gap" year program. Participants come to be inspired, focused and effective through technology awareness, mindfulness practices and entrepreneurial skills as they work directly with mentors to create their own social change initiatives. ABC Legacy is committed to lighting candles in the minds of the future leaders of the world and helping them ignite a positive collaborate impact on society.

There are different options within the Incubator. College students apply for Internships. High School students can choose to participate in Junior / Senior Projects while in school, and the In the Gap program when not in college. All members of ABC Legacy will learn about the non-profit organization TextLess Live More and contribute to its growth for it models the process:


Technology detox (TextLess) leads to mindfulness (Live More) thus opens one's vision and mind to work creatively and collaboratively with clarity and attention to solve the world's problems. (Merritt's Way). The first problem is texting and driving.

Susan Reynolds’ and the interns’ offices are located in Wheelhouse, and the Student Incubator is upstairs in the Bradford Mill office space. More information about the space at bradfordmill.com

Internships (January 2015)


ABC seeks college students interested in learning the Live Your Legacy NOW cycle in order to facilitate their own impact initiatives, as well as work with high school juniors and seniors. In the winter and spring of 2015, interns will also collaboratively create and pilot the In the Gap program.

 Junior/Senior Projects (February 2015)



Junior and Senior projects are an opportunity to move through Live Your Legacy Now cycle from passion to purpose and idea to impact. Seniors may link this with their Senior Projects and receive 2.5 credits. There will be seminars and the opportunity to be a member of ABC Legacy second semester.  The interdisciplinary curriculum for the projects asks: "Do I dare disturb the Universe? Do I dare to make a difference?" and then leads the student through a process to create a project with an impact.


One project that ABC Legacy seeks students for is an awareness campaign about the "Sexual Assault” and “Sexual Ambivalence Crisis" on College Campuses. The campaign will be targeted to incoming freshmen. This is a pro-active way to raise the awareness of incoming college freshman nationally, but also spotlight the positive things that colleges like Dartmouth are doing in regard to these issues.

In the Gap (September 2015)

The program is "In the Gap" because not everyone plans a "Gap Year." Some people decide that their college is not working and they take some time in the gap. There are two components. 

It has two components. First, it Invites the student into the Live Your Legacy NOW progression from Passion to Purpose and Idea to Impact. Students embark on a Hero's Quest and ask the bigger existential questions "Who Am I?” and “Why Am I Here?" as they work together in a 12-week program with other students, college interns and professional mentors. In the less abstract the questions are "How do I find my passion and my purpose? How do I make a difference and an impact?" The most concrete questions are, "Where do I want to go to college? What do I want to study?" 

Curriculum includes:
1. Technology Awareness including a detox retreat
2. Mindfulness Practices including mindfulness, yoga and hiking
3. Live Your Legacy Now from passion to purpose; idea to impact

During the 12 weeks students will also plan the rest of their time In the Gap with options of travel, internships, non-profit work, coding, and/or adventure. While at the Bradford Mills, mini internships and seminars will be held with different businesses, authors, entrepreneurs and artists in addition to an In the Gap Curriculum. Students will learn and work in the collaborative Wheelhouse environment with mentors, interns and other students. One may also choose to travel first, and then return to the 12 week program in Feb.

The second component is when not in the formal program students are members of their cohort and incubator. This is the physical space in Concord, as well as a virtual community accessible from anywhere one may be during their time away from Concord, whether trekking in Nepal or working in Boston.


After the completion of the course, students may choose from a number of programs, or create their own. The incubator is a home base for students when they return from weeks or months in other areas, with service projects, internships, travel abroad, etc. The Incubator serves as a community to share ideas and projects, social change initiatives, new companies, or other creative endeavors as they prepare for their freshman year or next stage in life. College counseling, application preparation, and testing strategies will also be available to students.


Live Your Legacy NOW 

From ABC Legacy Internships, Senior Projects, Gap Years; to Start-Ups, High Tech, and Innovation Centers; as well as schools, after-school, and community groups.

The Cycle: 

“When you're working on a start-up or creative idea, a book proposal or a campaign, and things are moving fast, it's intoxicating. We don't want to stop, we think we're in the zone, but we may be in a technology dopamine high. We need to stop and breathe, even if we don't want to. 

In order to move from passion to purpose, idea to impact, we need to take the tech breaks and practice mindfulness to focus and attend, integrate and synthesize. Emptiness helps us get in touch with our intuitive, creative self. Once we settle, BREATHE, and ease back into the parasympathetic nervous system, we can go back to the technology."



Technology: You get jangly, distracted, and ineffective. It's too much technology, too much information. Creative start up juice has run amuck. 

No Technology: You MUST close that laptop and step away from the computer. Leave your phone and go for a walk. Get outside.  Change your environment.

Mindfulness Practice: Go to your yoga studio. Meditate. Walk in nature. Run. Bike. Swim. Clear your head, and become quiet, spacious, empty so you can hear your own thoughts. Stay away from the technology for awhile. Digital Detox for an hour, a day, a weekend, a week, or longer.

Creativity:  Intuition bubbles up. Collaborate face to face. Bounce ideas off each other. Write your ideas. Talk about them. Read a book. Sit and ponder. Passion to Purpose. Idea to Impact. Mind Map. Sketch on the whiteboard. Make a plan of action.

Technology: Then go back to Technology and use it mindfully, until you get all jangly, distracted and overwhelmed, and the process starts again.

Entrepreneurs, students, high tech employees, actually most people need a visual of the cycle to put right on their computers phones and iPads. It is too easy to work 24/7 with the demands of 24/7 connectivity. 

Reading along with research and curriculum to support the cycle:

Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Focus by Dan Goleman
Power of Now by Eckert Tolle (or equivalent mindfulness book)
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence by Deepak Chopra
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
Breaking Out by John Butman
How To Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and their Big Ideas by David Bornstein
Dragonfly Effect: Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker




Long Range Vision


Cape Town Wheelhouse/Business Community with Artscape (2017)
ABC Legacy Incubator for South African and International students

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Definition: ABC Legacy November 9, 2007

I taught at Fenn for 17 years during which time I was the social studies chair, director of academic technology, special education tutor, and English and social studies teacher. I created the Integrated Studies curriculum as well as a three year technology initiative to teach teachers how to integrate technology into the curriculum.

I am now working with a group of dynamic teens at the different schools in the Concord, MA area. I taught a group of boys in 7th grade who are now seniors at Concord Carlisle High School, Middlesex, Concord Academy and other surrounding public and private schools. I am facilitating their creation of a non-profit organization committed to changing the world on a macro scale, and inspiring kids to find their passion on a micro one.

ABC Legacy, is a youth created organization that builds connections across grades, sports teams, interest groups, friends and family to share ways to make a difference, and ultimately be a catalyst for change. The more formal mission statement is The Alliance for Building Connections to Change is a youth created organization committed to inspiring a culture to engage in their passions and express it through service.

The CCHS students involved in the leadership council are: Eric Beaulieu, Jay Beaulieu, John McBride, Will McBride, Ian Carr, Brad Mattison, Vivienne Carrette, Alexandra Anastos, and Marianna Wells. We are just forming, and the students are identifying other leaders and change agents in the school to be on the leadership council. We have a network on Facebook that students are joining from CCHS as well as other schools and colleges across the country. The 2volunteer website is linked on our Facebook pages.

I am also running a workshop for students applying to secondary schools, which could be transfered to kids applying to college, too. 

Susan Reynolds Cappetta (former Fenn teacher) and Alexander Manshel (Fenn, Deerfield, Middlebury) are offering a three hour writing workshop on Friday, November 23. We will help students identify their passions, organize their thoughts and write a response to at least one essay question. Applications and laptops are required for the afternoon. The profits of the workshop will go to a newly forming non-profit organization, ABC Legacy. The Alliance for Building Connections is a youth created organization dedicated to inspiring a culture to engage in their passions, connect through service to be catalysts for change.

We have some specific goals:

1. To create a database of examples of teens/20s who have done meaningful service connected to passion. Here is a sample of a personalized question sent to a student at St. Paul's School:

"We also seek to connect passions to service, so that the service one does comes from a passion. I know you biked across the US this summer. Would you be willing to write a brief paragraph and include a picture of your group for our website? Do you think your biking compatriots would join ABC Legacy to watch what happens?"

2. We are creating a network of high school and college students on Facebook with the goal that this will be a central space for the synergies of all the groups working toward change, including a global day of service that is coordinated through Facebook.

3. To facilitate an orientation about community service for the freshman class at CCHS.

Revisiting ABC Legacy November 1, 2007

It seems a bit strange to blog about the incubation of an idea, or a re-emerging incubation of an idea, but here goes. And to write this in a semi-public forum because a blog can often go unread. But if I'm treating this blog write now as a space to let the ideas unfold, especially as the links to 2007 fold into 2011, then the messiness of circular thinking is just that. The messiness of circular thinking. So in order to keep ideas in one place, the first cut and paste is from an original email in 2007.

1997, while I was also the technology director at Fenn in charge of creating the vision for technology, Jon and I envisioned ABC Legacy: Atoms to Bits Children's Legacy which was designed to empower kids and their families to use the Internet and current technologies to learn about global issues, non-profit organizations and collaborate to make a difference.

In 2003, Joe Spiak died, and I attached to the grief of this family which led me to writing Amanda's Flight, a type of spiritual odyssey, a quest for the truth about death and the afterlife. It is also a hero's quest, Mike Spiak's hero's quest represented as the character Lowell.

In 2007, I went to Costa Rica on a yoga retreat with Seane Corn who is the Youth Aids Ambassador to India and currently creating a teaching curriculum for yoga teachers to take yoga from on the mat to "Off the Mat and into the World." Julia Butterfly Hill, who lived in the Redwood tree, Luna for 2 years and 8 days, was on the retreat as well. She is creating a similar curriculum to have in place when her movie, based on her book. The Legacy of Luna, comes out. It is called What's Your Tree? I then went to Omega with Seane and Julia who did another workshop with social activists called, Divine Action: Living Like You Mean It. This was a deepening of the work in Costa Rica, and geared toward action in the world. I came home committed to finding a way to bring Seane and Julia's work into the world, but I didn't know how.

Then I read about Nico in the Concord Journal, and was so touched when I saw two pictures. The father-son team, and then Nico on top of that mountain without Carl. There was Mike Spiak. On the top of his own mountain, Middlebury College... without his dad, and it began to come together.

I am going on a yoga/service retreat in Tanzania at the end of November. We are working in the TunaHAKI Orphanage, climbing to the base of Kilimanjaro, going on a three day safari; visit a Massai Village and doing yoga every a.m and p.m. When I told Jeanine this, she said our paths might cross if they could find a sponsor to send Nico back. I immediately said, I'd be the sponsor. Later that day, I was on my Dartmouth Alumni site to get a friend's email, and I saw that I had written my profession was the co-founder of ABC Legacy, ten years ago. I'd forgotten all about it, so I went into the attic to find my old box of writings, and there it was. The mission statement described Nico and his family's coming of age process, so I offered for ABC Legacy to send Nico to Tanzania.

When I talked in more depth with Jeanine, we realized that ABC Legacy could be a vehicle for other teens to move through a process similar to Nico's coming of age trip. Acadia Moeyersoms provides another model with the birthday dance she held, and the money she gave to Nico's organization, birthdays without presents. In essence, where we are now is creating a type of Homeric Odyssey, a coming of age journey to find one's passion, purpose, dharma.


Thus, a working definition is:

Based on Howard Thurman's words, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive," ABC Legacy seeks to empower youth and their families to dare to make a difference in their world. Using current technologies and educational models to enhance the spirit of collaboration, members will identify their passions, interests and gifts in order to use them to learn about local / global issues and existing non-profit organizations. ABC Legacy is committed to lighting candles in the minds of the future citizens of the world and helping them implement action for change.

So, at this point we see developing a process, age appropriate for different groups, to move through this quest to find their passion(s) and transfer that passion to a way to serve, whatever that may be. If a child loves horses, then what types of service are connected to service? This is oversimplified, and I have oodles of writing on this. I'm collaborating with Walter Birge from Fenn, Polly Vanasse from Nashoba, Mary Wren and Phil know about this, and I'm meeting with Mary Wren on Thursday, I've spoken with different people at the high school, friends in CA who are committed to helping with the Bay ARea branch of this when I have it more defined, former teaching friends in CA, CO, and VA, etc.The two groups I have identified thus far is a group of Fenn 8th graders and former Fenn students who are seniors this year, thus creating a type of mentor-mentee relationship. Walter Birge is going to help me with this group. I am also creating a group of moms and 5th grade girls to look at a hero's quest for younger girls. Now this has grown to include John McBride, Eric Beaulieu, Brad Mattison, Peter VF, Ian Carr at CC, and Pat Mara at MX, Tyler Andrews at CA and Kit Howland and LS.


I'm the one with the big vision... I am the hub of this wheel, and Nico's journey is a spoke, the main spoke, that provides the model. Jeanine and I are still in the very formative stages of this. Kyle's coming of age trip to Belize fits into this as well as other friend's children who have been through bar mitzvah's and bat mitzvah's, as well as confirmation process at Holy Family. The focus is on identifying the call to service, almost more than the actual service. It's finding that passion to serve from the heart... so that one's eyes light up the way Nico's do when he talks about his journey.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Zanzibar Acrobats.

Maggie and Dorrie, from my retreat, work at Acrosports in San Francisco, and they met some Zanaibar teens on the beach, acrobats, just like they train in SF, and like The TunaHAKI kids, but these kids are older and thus more advanced. Dorrie and Maggie saw them three nights in a row. Dorrie andMaggie work at Acrosports which is an acrobat/circus training school. They are going to find ways to sponsor these local kids. We all talked to the customer relations person at the hotel. He talked with us about these kids performing at the hotel and there was a meeting today at 5. Dorrie spent the morning at the Ministry of Culture, while Maggie worked on a flyer for Zanzibar Acrobats. Then today by the pool we talked to the general manager of the hotel, so while I was flying, Dorrie, Maggie, The minister of Culture, director of this fine arts school, and the General Manager of the hotel were watching these kids perform and then talk wtih them afterwards. I missed the meeting because I'm about to fly home to Concord, but it was so fun to be part of this way for Maggie and Dorrie to take their passion for teaching acrobatics to teens in Zanzibar.

About to get on the plane... more later about this fun development!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Kilimanjaro with the TunaHAKI kids


It is Monday morning, and I am writing from the beautiful island of Zanzibar where I've been able to decompress, relax, and reflect with Maggie and Dorrie, the two women from the retreat who work for Acrosports in San Francisco. They are also the ones who I borrow the pictures from since mine are still in my camera.
What a day we had on the mountain last Friday, and it was so enriched by walking up with 15 TunaHAKI kids! We started at the bottom around 10:30, after recording passport numbers, taking copious pictures, and preparing our backpacks of snacks, water, and layers. We started up, almost two by two, with a TunaHAKI kid side by side with a yoga retreat hiker. It quickly became clear that the ones who were going to scurry up the mountain were a group of kids. Anna, Nakindia, and Susan (TunaHAKI Susan) were the leaders up the mountain, while several younger boys stayed back with us, each offering to carry a water bottle, use the camera to take a picture, or just smile.
I tended to be with the lead group because that's just the way I like to hike. Climb without breaks, and then rest longer when there's a time to wait for others. Thus, the day began with a couple of us walking with the lead kids, and then when there was a fork or choice to make, we waited. Val and I were chatting about the relative lack of bugs in comparison to what we thought we'd see in Tanzania when she all of a sudden started jumping around with ants under her pants, or ants in her pants. We think she must have stepped on one of the ant hills we encountered... right before the monkeys in the trees. It was one thing to see the animals from a safari car, quite another to have them hanging in the trees all around you on the path through the rain forest. It was so lush and green as we ascended at a very steady climb. Nothing too steep, just steady.
With breaks built in the entire trip to the first base camp took about 3 1/2 hours, and our last 8 minutes was in a downpour. About 15 minutes before the rain, we stopped to chat with some sherpas who were resting on the side of the path. Just for fun we tried to lift the packs that they carry on their heads which does not include what they carry on their backs. We could barely lift the sachels with our arms, so the thought that this gear is carried on one's head is hard to fathom.
We arrived to basecamp as a torrential downpour was beginning to we ran into the first hut we saw, the sherpas' hut. They encouraged us to go over to the next hut over to the tourist's area where there were long picnic tables for lunch inside, but we didn't want to make the break. We'd stayed relatively dry the whole way up. We made a dash for it, and waited for the others who were not far behind. We were the only ones at the basecamp at that moment which serves as a great contrast to later in the afternoon.
The weather changed so many times during our climb. From heat and sun to rain and clouds, times when a tank top was too much and times when tank top, longsleeve shirt, and raincoat were not enough, and this was just to the first base camp. The topography was green, lush, and a moderate incline that changed drastically in our short 15 minute walk past the basecamp to the crater. I do not have my notes in front of me, so I'm not writing the correct names of the areas, like the path we took or the name of this crater.
One of the highlights of this day's climb was the crater because from the rim, three of the kids made a running, tumbling, falling path down into the high grass and reeds of the bowl. Maggie and I ran down with them so we never got the full impact the others' did seeing this happy and giggly group lying in the fields at the bottom of the crater. Dorrie stayed up top to record it for her blog, which I will add when they've posted. It was amazing, though, to watch ten more TunaHAKI kids comes running down the path, falling and rolling all the way down, laughing with shouts of gleeful swahili with some English mixed in. It looked like the scene from The Sound of Music when they come to the border. I also felt like the moment when everyone was lying in the sun, lounging back, hidden by the grass that it was a scene right out of the fields of poppeys in The Wizard of Oz.
When we came back to the first basecamp after our jaunt to the crater, the camp was alive wtih sherpas, hikers, going both up and down. It was another world... and the smiles, looks of exhaustion and triumph made one, or at least me, believe that it was a possible feat... At other times it seemed crazy, especially when we were in the midst of pelting rain.
There were more amazing moments making the 3 hour trek back down the mountain, especially with the nature, joy and grateful emotions oozing from these incredible kids. I went down with a very fast group again. We ended up back at the bus around 5:45, and when everyone got to the bottom, coca cola and fanta was handed out to all who enjoyed the day.
My last reflection about hiking with 15 adults and 15 TunaHAKI kids is that it never felt like we were separated as the adults taking care of the kids. We were all in it together, and if anything, it was the kids who cared for the adults, carrying water, making a path ahead, and waiting for others' to catch up. We took pictures on a bridge overlooking a waterfall, and it struck me that many of these kids have never been in this type of nature before. Moshi is near the city where there are trees, but trees scattered among the dust and clay houses. It was a day of gratitude for many things... the majesty of Kilimanjaro, the joy of these beautiful children, and the opportunity to participate in the melding of culture and nature.