Our family was moving to Malaysia. There was a mixture of excitement, anger, sadness, fear, and more excitement in the car. Driving to the airport for our flight, my daughter had us pull over and buy a loaf of bread.
She set one slice of bread on the ground at the airport in Houston, Texas, and walked away. The other slice, she wrapped carefully and put in her backpack. While waiting for our driver in Kuala Lumpur, she took a then stale piece of bread out and set it on the sidewalk. Her “world sandwich” she called it. It was adorable and I love these pictures. No doubt, I’m going to be in trouble when she realizes that I posted them.
My husband’s job allowed our family of four to live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a few years. If I could go back, the only thing I would change about our time there would be to extend it. I like to say that we became “Team Helms” while living overseas - we all grew as individuals, and we came together as a family in a way I don’t think we would have back home.
Those were significant years. I saw tremendous changes in my health and my outlook on life in general. I learned to slow down, relax, roll with the unexpected, and laugh things off. I volunteered throughout our stay as an art and English teacher for refugees from Myanmar - I learned so much from those kids.
Our children matured and grew surrounded by cultures and religions, not like their own. They gained a more global perspective and learned to live with less. It was so incredible as a parent to watch their self-confidence soar. Those years became a new foundation if you will for our marriage and family.
After repatriating, I wanted to keep traveling and volunteering. Giving back to areas that were good to my family was important to me. I could do that by providing earning opportunities in different communities. And that's what Sapana does. We find ways to employ makers so that they can provide for themselves using their talents. This is where "beautiful things made by good people" comes from.
Even down to our retail bags - going through old photos I found these pictures and couldn't resist including them. Our first retail bags were made from Nepali newspapers. Now our bags are screen printed and sewn in Jaipur by one of the first tailors we started with.
That world sandwich was really cute at the time. Looking back, I think it was a great indication of how open we all were to our adventure.
in Houston at the airport
Be a part of the adventure.