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It has been almost four years since we have been home to the States. I know technology is only getting faster and more efficient. It seems like there is literally an “app” for everything. Communication is fast and getting faster. I sure am thankful for that technology. In the last couple of years technology has allowed us (via Skype) to speak live all the way from this side of the globe with our home church in Florida. My boys can also sit and talk with their grandparents face to face from our home in the jungle. I can even ask my favorite search engine an algebra question.
However, for years those things were not accessible to us and so the boys grew up finding creative outlets. Mike and I had to brainstorm on things to encourage them to spend time doing: things maybe we hadn’t grown up doing. Over the years they have spent hours making paper airplanes, blowing bubbles, putting together puzzles, playing board games, reading tons of books, whittling, drawing, collecting insects, playing jungle hopscotch and marbles, and shooting rubber bands.
Parents want their children to be up on all the technological advances. I understand that, and we don’t want to hold our children back from opportunities. However, it has been my observation that a little free time (without a screen) causes creativity to bloom. How else would I ever explain making a helicopter from an unripe papaya? When the boys were little, their tribal friends showed them how to perfect this technique.
Our boys have electronic devices now, and it took no time for them to figure out all the bells, whistles, and shortcuts. Kian is the go-to for gadgets. He just has a way of figuring things out. However, if given a chance, he is the first one to curl up and read a good book.
So while I am thankful for technology, I am also thankful for a lifestyle that forced us to not always have it right at our fingertips.
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