Sunday, August 20, 2017

Atlanta Vacation Day 3

What a rough night! Andrew woke up at about 1:30 am and did not fall asleep again until close to 5am. He would toss and turn in his bed and kept waking up crying thinking he was alone in an unfamiliar place. He has developed a real attachment towards what’s familiar and fears unfamiliar surroundings.

Because of our lack of sleep, we didn’t get going until after 9 and didn’t get out of the house until 11am.  We decided to visit Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site in downtown Atlanta. It is managed by the National Park Service, so the kids were able to work towards another Jr ranger badge. Our 6th one this year!

We viewed a video about the struggle to live under segregation and the fight for civil liberties through non-violent marches and civil disobedience (opposing unfair and unjust treatment).

The kids could not believe the rules imposed on blacks. There were laws regarding the segregation at events such circus attendance, boating and recreation, as well as medical care by staff of different  skin color. Not to speak about interracial marriages.

We learned about Dr. King’s upbringing, education, influences, struggles to stand for what he believed.

 After completing their booklet the kids were sworn in as rangers and we left the visitor center to explore Ebeneezer Baptist Church – where MLK Sr. preached. It looked much like any other church I have attended, only filled with much history.

From there we walked to the Reflection Pool, where Dr. King and his wife are buried and to Firehouse 6, where he would hang out as a child.

Sunny, the volunteer working at the firehouse took a liking to our children and allowed them to reenact MLK childhood habits of running through the door of the firehouse and up the stairs to the upper area where he would play and get sweets. He always, knew he could never become a firemen because only white men were able to hold that position. Even at a young age he recognized the inequality in society due to race. 

MLK’s childhood home was only three houses down from the fire station. On one side of the street were larger, lavish homes while across the road were shotgun houses inhabited by blue collar laborers. Although he witness segregation, he also witness the ability of people of all different backgrounds to get along.

After our visit to the Historic Site, we treated ourselves to burgers and gelato in Victoria Highland neighborhood. It reminded us a lot of the Sugarhouse are in Salt Lake City.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Brook Run State Park in Dunwoody. It was hot, and humid. The kids just wanted to go home, until they began playing in the wading stream which ran through the various playgrounds.

Stella and Emilia both made friends and splashed around for a while. Stella got soaking wet which I am sure felt good in the heat. Emilia befriended a girl named Danicka. Just before we left Danicka’s mother introduced herself and asked if we would be interested in arranging a playdate for the girls.

Since we are only visiting, Caitlin suggested they write instead. Emilia didn’t seem very thrilled, but I think once she receives a letter, she will recognize the excitement that us adults remember from childhood pen pals.