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You know, we are never too old to learn. And I just learned something wonderful. It’s all about love. What is love?

All of my adult life, I have always volunteered – as an Outreach person for my church while I was in college, as a Girl Scout Leader for over 20 years after I became a mother, and as a volunteer chairman for a money-making endeavor for my local church. When I started Go …. With Jo Tours, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to share what I had learned while traveling to a foreign country.

When I plan a tour for you, I try to imagine what I would want if I were buying that tour. As I plan a tour, I try to share with you the beauty, history, and culture of our world. For instance, the Monterrey Tour, the Painted Churches, or any of the tours – what can I share with you so that you too can enjoy the experience?

But recently, I decided I could do more. I decided to follow the example that so many of you have set for us. I wanted to contribute more. I wanted to make a difference. So, I offered my services as a one-on-one reading tutor at the Boys and Girls Club in one of the local schools. I am brand new at tutoring, but since my background is in teaching and counseling, I thought surely that I could make a difference.

And what a difference it has made in my life. I so look forward to my one hour once a week that I devote to helping someone else. During my one-hour session, all the children who are waiting for their parents to pick them up come over to tell me hello. Somehow, I have earned the reputation as the “fun lady.” I seriously doubt if any of my former students would call me that – especially not if they were one of the ones who had to be punished by staying late after school hours. At the time they probably considered me a mean old grouch.

But the children I am tutoring today seem very different. For one thing, they are all Hispanic and most live in a housing project close by. From birth on, in the Hispanic culture, children are taught to respect their elders. Let’s face it – for a youngster, I am an elder. So, all these children are very polite and respectful.
Each week I have been assigned a different student. They pick a book from the small library that is available to them. Generally, we have time to finish three children’s books. You can almost see their minds working. These children probably come from homes where only Spanish is spoken. So, while their minds think in Spanish, their eyes and lips must be operating in English. What a challenge!

These children probably get very little attention at home, as generally both parents must work to be sure there is enough money for food and clothing. Consequently, these children love that individual attention. That is probably why at the end of one of my sessions, my student threw her arms around me and gave me a big hug. My heart flipped … this is what love is all about. It’s about sharing your talents. It’s about caring and giving of yourself.