My job as a reporter covering the Perrysburg are includes going to a lot of meetings of the township trustees, city council, and board of education.
Some are exciting, some drag on, and others are down right uneventful.
This week, I had the opportunity to cover two speakers -- one was a Haitian man talking to elementary schools in Perrysburg and the other was a domestic-abuse survivor speaking at Penta Career Center in Perrysburg Township.
Two extremely different speakers, but it was humbling and enlightening listening to both.
I felt like a second grader as I sat in the Woodland Elementary library on Tuesday and heard Thiogene Ismaille talk about life in Haiti. He talked about life without electricity, children having to walk miles to school instead of taking a bus, and the only store in town being a few feet wide.
The second grader asked about how Haitians go to the bathroom, because they don't have them toilets inside their homes. Or how the speaker plugs in his electronics without having electricity.
Funny part was, I was curious about half their questions as well. Mr. Ismaille told me afterward that he likes talking to churches and children in the area to help them realize how blessed they are. Well, he surely helped me understand. I take for granted driving in my car, having warm showers, eating large meals - things I don't even think about that most of the world does not have.
Johanna Orozco spoke to Penta students on Wednesday about being physically and mentally abused by an ex-boyfriend in 2007 when she was a teenager. She was shot in the face by him.
It was amazing seeing how brave she was to talk about such emotional and disturbing parts of her life. Ms. Orozco discussed being raped at knifepoint, her recovery, and how hard it was to love herself after being abused. She is now happily married with a baby boy.
In both sessions my eyes were opened to how different the world can be for people. I'm constantly worried about getting stories and trying to do a good job at work. In Haiti, people are concerned about what they will eat each day. For people in abusive relationships, their worries about their everyday safety.
I need to be more appreciative with what I have, and put things smaller issues in perspective. I hope the area students got as much of an awakening from the guest speakers this week as I did. Thanks for letting me sit in.