Feeling Grateful To Start The Year

My wife and I had the good fortune to travel to Kenya during the summer. During our stay in Nanyuki, Kenya we had the pleasure of attending a number of schools, which are supported in part by the Langley School District Foundation and were able to interact with students and staff. The challenges Kenyans face are incredibly daunting: little access to fresh water, scarcity of employment, lack of resources in schools, crowded conditions in one room mud huts, and low wages. Efforts to free themselves from the shackles of colonialism have not proved successful. Yet despite these challenges the children and adults we met appeared healthy and very grateful for the little they possessed. We were constantly greeted in Swahili with passerby’s smiling and saying ‘Jambo!’ Education and family bonds are highly valued.

I returned home significantly impacted by my journey. I realize just how fortunate I am to live in Langley, British Columbia. Yes, the price of housing can be challenging, wages could be higher, and poverty certainly exists in our community. However, compared to the rest of the world our lifestyle, geography, and access to education and health services are things we constantly take for granted.

I am certainly going to focus more this year on what is really important. Less desire for materialistic goods, appreciating my family and the great people that I am with each day, continuing to assist those in need, and not being consumed with social media. In other words, remembering what is really important.

I am grateful to work in such an amazing school district with so many exceptional staff, incredibly facilities, and tremendous supports for our children. Looking forward to a great school year!

Gord Stewart