Travel is obviously a great learning tool. We can't wait to show Travelin' Junior more of the world and watch him experience some of the same lessons we have, whether it be witnessing the Cambodians' ability to maintain a smiling, positive disposition in the face of extreme poverty or seeing South African township citizens exiting their tin shacks in suits and uniforms to begin the long walk to work or school. But, TJ isn't even two yet. Even if we were up to the logistics of taking him to South Africa or Southeast Asia, we know he won't remember being there. So, those trips will likely wait.
But, it doesn't mean we can't start teaching him similar lessons even earlier at home. For example, Right to Play, the fantastic charity working in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, uses sports "to improve health, build life skills, and foster peace for children of communities affected by war, poverty, and disease." Right to Play has teamed with adidas for the "Red Ball Campaign." In short, if you donate $10 to Right to Play, you receive an adidas mini red ball with the Right to Play name and slogan. So, TJ gets a fun little ball to play with now and hopefully a lesson about helping those less fortunate later. And you can benefit from your good karma immediately, as adidas (whose site you ultimately order the ball through) currently has free ground shipping for the holiday season (note: it says something about orders of $99, but our order was under $99 and we still received free shipping). So, your total cost for the ball is exactly $10.
In full disclosure, we just placed our order, so I can't say how "mini" the Right to Play mini-ball actually is. But, I'd like to think this is one of those rare occasions where size truly doesn't matter.