Emil and 13 other sheltered-workshop clients, plus as many more staff members, are going to Mexico in January. He has been saving for the trip for the past year or two and has only $100 to go, and that’s just to top up his spending money. (Dad offered to match Emil’s funds, but he’s managed to save enough for the whole thing without help.)
They already have numerous excursions planned, including a swim with dolphins. It’s cruel to keep dolphins in captivity and so I wouldn’t participate in or encourage something like that by supporting the industry. I won’t go to zoos anymore — not even to take the grandchildren when we have some — for the same reasons. But Emil will be thrilled and is very excited about the whole thing.
Their last trip was to Disneyland two years ago and he was torn up when it was time to come home. He didn’t want to, he said (in tears; I was only recently told this particular detail of his upset, or at least it’s the first I remember hearing he actually cried), and so the jolly Disneyland staff said Well hey, no worries, maybe we can get you a job here! That made Emil stop and think. He replied that he’d better not stay there, because he’d miss his mom and several other people.
Now he’s talking about going to England (“I probably wouldn’t get to meet the Queen. She’s likely too busy”) and New Zealand and Egypt. He has been listening to other people wishing to go to these places, and has begun to dream.