Visiting Alabama allowed E to experience a bit of what I had growing up. Life in rural, South Alabama was a bit different than his life in urban Scotland. Eli embraced it all whole-heartedly. He got to ride on the “tractor” with his grandfather, hang out at the hardware store where his other grandfather works, have free reign of large yards and open fields, and spend a lot of time swinging with his grandparents. He even got his photos taken while sitting on a pony. The phrase “I’m a cowboy!” was shouted many times as he ran in the wide open spaces. Even now, a couple of months later, he reminds us that he “used to be a cowboy.” I’m so glad he got a taste of not just my home culture but an entirely different culture than what he knows. Getting to experience how others live life is such a rich gift, even though it comes at the expense of being so far from family.

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