I just came from breakfast where I dined and conversed with two articulate and fascinating young ladies of Pokey. They are Mika and Cristina. I heard all about their families, their experiences as first-time campers, and many miscellaneous stories. This real conversation was one of the highlights of my summer here, and a simple reminder of what being here is all about. Talking with kids. Even kids this young have clear hopes and fears and dreams and even plans. They care deeply about their parents and are surprisingly knowledgeable about what their parents are going through - jobs, careers, travel, raising a family, caring for elders. They're 8 years old and obviously still quite dependent on adults, but they have the minds and articulateness of people who are ready to grow up and try things out for themselves. Impressive.
One more thing. Both these girls have complex multi-ethnic international families. Mika's family is Moroccan, Israeli and more. Cristina's is Nigerian-Brooklynian (and British), with lots of back and forth, and extended families heading in many directions at once. Both are remarkably interested in their multiple identities and completely comfortable with them. The worldliness of their families, and themselves, is something they deem a natural fact.