The soccer team is special. Every one of them thanked me and Maria for inviting them to the retreat, after dinner, every one brought their plates and glasses and silverware up to the sink, and washed and dried and stacked it. They stayed at the sink until every dish was washed and dried, and all were clean and spotless.
It took them an hour to help clean up, and I offered to take over, they politely but firmly refused. These are not kids who are on Facebook or cell phones all day, they love to talk and listen, they are curious, shy as many of them are.
It is a gift to be working with these children, their stories are sometimes heart-breaking, but their spirits and hearts are pure and full of love and hope. We are all getting comfortable with each other, and some of the kids are asking me about books and writing, they are trying to figure me out.
I can only imagine how I must appear to them. I'll be taking more photos today in the daylight.
Thanks for your support. If you wish to support this work – the soccer season is looming, it will be a long and expensive year – you can donate to The Refugee Fund or Jon Katz, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816 or via Paypal, [email protected]
The soccer team is not really about sports, but about community, leadership, strength and hope. The team's unofficial motto is "walk together, sleep together, die together." They need one another in a sometimes hostile and indifferent world.
They are learning how to live in our country with grace and strength and love. To me, they are what America is all about. They need to succeed, for their sakes and our sakes.