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An Anniversary (Teaching Children to Love the World)

Oct 16, 2020

Three years ago today, on October 16, 2017, my daughters and I began our great Country of the Week adventure.

At the time, I wrote the following in a Facebook post about it:

“Both Kathryn and I have come to understand how small a place the world truly is and how beautiful it is. We'd like to pass along these same ideas to our children. Yes, the earth itself may be large, but the world itself is small. There are many people everywhere from many different places, but see...that place is just ‘right there.’”

From this, came Country of the Week.

We didn’t honestly know where this would go; if it would even last and what lasting impact it might have on our children.

In the three years that have passed, Country of the Week (COTW) has grown, adapted, matured, taken on new forms and become an undeniable staple of our everyday lives. To say we are thankful for what COTW has become for our family would be a severe understatement. It has, quite literally, changed all of our lives.

Our two daughters, Kiana and Marika (now 8 and 9), have become, in a sense, global citizens from the relative ease of our dining room table. Obviously, a lot more will go into them becoming true global citizens, but their understanding of the world is many years beyond where even mine was, just 3 short years ago. Some of the obvious things that have developed in each of them includes:

  • A wide appreciation for cultures outside of our own.
  • A new level of care and understanding for the environment.
  • A strong curiosity to get out and explore.
  • A positive understanding of different peoples.
  • An expansion of their vocabulary, both written and spoken.
  • Extensively written and detailed travel bucket lists.
  • A strong sense of geography and where places are in the world.
  • Countless new dreams about the things they want to experience in life.

I could go on and on.

This project has dramatically impacted who our girls have become over the last three years. They have literally become better humans, in part, because of Country of the Week. We see it in them every day and we are so proud of them. We are also eager and excited about who they might become, as adults, having been given this experience.

Choosing to share what we have created with the world was a big and bold step and while we know it won’t be for everyone, we know enough people are out there that will resonate with it. We know that many of you want the same above attributes for your children.

There are others, just like us, who are frustrated with the headlines of today and want to fill their family lives with a sense of optimism and adventure and less fear and uncertainty.

Country of the Week has become this and so much more for our family and we couldn’t be more thankful. We are now 114 countries in can't wait to complete our goal of 200 countries! (Yes, we missed a few weeks along the way. Honestly, I wish this website existed when we started...that would have been soooo much easier!)

To the many of you, spread out across 5 continents, who have supported us in this adventure, thank you.

Some of you have been watching us as personal friends from the very beginning, some of you have only heard about it and signed up in recent months. Either way, your support means the world to us and in the years to come, we hope to help you one day celebrate your family’s annual COTW anniversary!

Peace and love everyone. Thank you!

- Dave and the family


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