We got a whole cocktail of immunizations in our arms for this trip: yellow fever, Hep A, typhoid, and meningitis. We'll take malaria pills starting on Wednesday. I don't love putting these things into my kids' bodies, but the possible alternative - to contract a preventable disease while we're away - leaves me feeling that this is a responsible thing to do as parents.
There are a few things that this raises in me.
1. We have money to do this. Many people can't afford these immunizations. They live with the risk every day, and this is part of life.
2. Life is risk. Someone told me that we should ask people to pray for our safety - both health-wise and safety from car accidents. There are risks in taking our children to Benin, Africa. But there are risks to just staying at home too. There are risks involved in driving down the 401 to the Toronto airport. So, this trip kind of scares me and mostly excites me.
3. This type of travel is a much-needed immunization for both me and my kids. It's an immunization against the dis-ease of North American entitlement. We see how many in our world live, and it changes us. Both Derek and I have traveled extensively, and we've been changed. And we will change again - I know this.
We're about to board our plane for Rome. We'd love your prayers for our safety, and for a perspective-altering experience.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings