Tonight the kids are happily gathering their electronic devices and books, extra batteries, packs of gum, and knicknacks they think will keep them entertained on the airplane. Earlier this month, though, they were expressing some anxiety about our upcoming trip.
We’re traveling to Guatemala for a tour of Rotary projects produced by Semilla Nueva, a nonprofit founded by Boise native Curt Bowen, that helps rural communities gain economic independence and rejuvenate their land through hands-on education and collaborative sustainable agriculture projects. We’ll have about four days to explore rural communities and talk to farmers, then a few days on Lake Atitlan, exploring the Guatemalan rain forest and Mayan villages.
[from Beth] Mike and I were brainstorming what to take on our trip to Finland for Saara’s niece and nephew when I suggested t-shirts from our alma matter. He hesitated, then wondered aloud whether our school mascot, Joe Vandal, would somehow be offensive in a country that was once regularly invaded by marauding norsemen.
So now I’m packing for the kids and stymied by the thought of the potential first impressions inspired by each item of clothing. For people who don’t like to advertise brands or cartoon characters on our shirts, we let our kids wear an amazing amount of potentially confusing or misleading information around on their chests every day, plus a fair amount of anime. Thankfully, we have a few college shirts, sans stains or potentially offensive references to mascots (Washington, Oregon, Texas included). But then there’s really weird statements our kids wear around:
“Play at your own risk: Game Over”
“I do my own stunts”
“The Smell of Victory,” with a big, stinky shoe on it
“Mayhem,” this one with a skull and crossbones
“Plunder … pillage,” what is it with the skull and crossbones?
I see another trip to WalMart and a whole lotta Haines in our near future.