Today is September 11th. Sunday would normally be a leisurely morning in our house. But today, it was chaos. The kids whined just like a weekday morning. We instructed them to get dressed, but not in nice clothes. We were headed to school, but they weren't to bring their homework or back packs. We loaded up the car. Today, went to a Moroccan school.
We followed the caravan of other Americans driving through an unfamiliar part of the city. When we arrived they were waiting for us. The school children are all dressed up. We were dressed down. The truck from the US Embassy, filled with new furniture, tools, paint, supplies and books, had arrived. But we couldn't begin. We had to wait. The US Ambassador was coming.
When he and his wife arrived things started.
And by things I mean speeches.
Then we had cookies and Moroccan tea.
And hoped we'd start soon.
Finally, the formalities ended and we saw the room we would be painting.
It was small. So small, not all of us were going to fit. All the brushes and rollers had been claimed anyway. The furniture donated by the US Embassy was strewn in the hallway and needed assembling. But, all the tools were already in anxious hands.
The builders built.
The painters painted.
(Some of the paint actually did get on the wall...)
One of the other Americans had a soccer ball in her car and arranged an impromptu soccer game for the kids.
I tried to help, I did. But I personally did zero...zip...zilch.
I felt useless.
Then, a group of young Moroccan girls approached me. They had a simple request. All they wanted were kisses. And then I realized, embracing the moment with the people around you is doing something.
I'll never forget where I was September 11, 2011, those girls in the Moroccan school and the lesson they taught me. 'Cause today I went to school and got skoold.