Dear Friends & Fellow Walkers,
I’m on my way to Cambodia soon, where I’ll be walking & cycling every day, visiting two shelters that are home to 114 formerly trafficked Khmer girls as well as the orphanage and schools where the nation’s youngest and most vulnerable are living, learning and growing with help from our daughter and from everyone who’s supported our cause for liberty, justice and freedom for all.
Some of what we’ll see and share will be difficult to read about. But as we know, even in the face of sadness and grief there’s always hope and joy in our world, and we owe it to ourselves and to the memory of those who are gone to look for that joy and celebrate it. Ending suffering where and when we can is part of being human, and I believe it is an important reaction to the events in Connecticut last week. For years now I’ve found myself returning to the Prayer of St. Francis whenever I am challenged by life, and today it feels particularly relevant:
Outside Newtown High School
Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.
My daughter Melissa tells me that the Khmer are beautiful people who are grateful for even the smallest acts of kindness and generosity. When I visit their small country I’ll be posting photos, insights, and reflection on what we see, learn and do. I hope you’ll join me on My Second Big Walk, and share your own stories of joy, learning, and adventuring.
See you in the New Year!
(P.S. This picture was taken on our last day in Austria, July 2012. Yes, friends, I’ve been living, loving
adventuring and writing. I hope you’ll welcome me back and share your own journeys in life! In the photo are, from left: my nephew Jack Albanese, my mother-in-law Rosemarie Helm, my son John Albanese, my husband Frank, me, my daughter Melissa Albanese, and our fabulous host in Medraz, Austria — Peter Fischlechner.