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No crystal ball could have prepared me for a day in which I would have two grandchildren in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and two grandchildren in Reykjavik, Iceland. Kai and Jorin have just started school in Dar Es Salaam where the family moved this month. We skyped by phone this week. How’s school, what are you studying? I ask Kai, age 10.

Among his subjects is Swahili. Intrigued, I asked what words he had learned. “Jina lakoni Kai,” he said. “My name is Kai. And ‘Jina lakoni nani?’ That’s ‘What is your name?’” I practiced, and enjoyed the rolling sounds I could make. Then I talked to Jorin, age 7, who informed me that “hujambo,” in Swahili is “Hello.”

The next time I get together with Robby, nearly 9, and Gwendolyn, 7, they will tell me all about Icelandic caves, waterfalls, and thermal vents that erupt 30 feet into the air, and the endless sunlight and maybe Viking museums in Reykjavik where they are vacationing before school starts in Massachusetts. They both promised to bring me some black sand from the beaches. The world gets smaller on a day like this, and my heart gets bigger. And more thankful for the wonderful children their parents are raising. And for the fine, sweet days this year when they were not out exploring the planet, but we were all together at Nana's house for summertime delights!

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