Project Advent, Day 23: Letters for Amnesty International


Phew, busy day today.  Courtney worked last night, and Jack's daycare was closed today, so I had all three kids to keep occupied so she could sleep.  We went for donuts for breakfast, made a trip to the grocery store to get some things before Courtney's family came to town, and cleaned house a little to get ready for them.  Then we headed to my mom's house for a little while.  She needed her turbine covers put on, but didn't want to climb to the roof herself, so I was happy to help.  The kids and I went to lunch with her after that, and then I took them bowling.

As a dad, you always hope your kids will see you being awesome at everything, especially sports.  Please take a look at the scoreboard of today's game, and notice that only the two year-old scored fewer points than I did.
Anyway, all of that is just to highlight that I had to plan my time carefully today if I was going to get my hour of service in.  When the kids laid down for a nap after bowling, I sprung into action.  I sprung into action by sitting down with my laptop.

Along with much of the rest of the world, I've watched the events of this year's Arab Spring with great hope and interest.  I'm impressed by the resolve and courage that so many of these people have shown.  I've also been saddened to hear of the number of abuses that have been visited upon them by their governments.  It has made me wish that there was something, anything, that I could do.

For today's project, I visited Amnesty International's website, read about the names and cases of four people identified as "Prisoners of Conscience," and wrote letters on their behalf.  A prisoner of conscience is defined by AI as a person who has been imprisoned and/or persecuted for the non-violent expression of their conscientiously-held beliefs.  One of Amnesty International's campaigns is to make information about these prisoners available, along with people to write to and request clemency.  The idea is to let those in authority know that the world is watching their actions.

I chose the names of several individuals who have been detained in the Middle East, and hand-wrote letters to their countries' justice systems.  When the kids woke up, I took them with me to the post office, put international postage on the envelopes, and dropped them in the mail.  Now to hope for the best.

You know, it's hard to take a compelling picture of somebody writing letters.  Instead, here's a picture of me with a six-foot inflatable replica of the leg lamp from A Christmas Story.
Gratitude Project: I feel like I'm shirking a little bit, because I've mentioned my kids in quite a few of these, but I really had a good day with them today.  It can be kind of a challenge bowling with three kids, but you should have seen how much fun they had, and how proud they were when they bowled a good frame.  When my in-laws arrived, they were so excited and full of joy.

Sometimes you are blessed to look at a moment while you are still in the middle of it, and to know that it's a memory you will carry with you.  I had one of those with Ava today.  I wanted to sit down and type this a little earlier in the evening, but she came to me and asked if I would help her make a house for her stuffed Eeyore.  We found a cardboard box and used her crayons and markers to draw Christmas pictures all over it.  Then she put him inside, put a blanket over the top, and told him to sleep tight.  Sitting there on her bedroom floor, drawing candy canes and a little Nativity scene with her, was the type of moment I'd always imagined having when I became the father of a daughter.


Ali said...

that lamp? it's a MAJOR AWARD.

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