As I look at photos to share with you I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. I am blessed.
Period. I was born in the USA. This thought lead me to the title of this blog. There are days when we all want more, feel like we need more or feel like we deserve more. I think it''s part of the human condition. Our parents have to teach us how to share. I think my first words were "mine, mine, mine." lol We're born selfish.
Here are five little girls from Habanero. So happy and grateful to be spending the night at the mission house. They are cheering for their bounty of bread and cookies with a cup of cola. All by the light of a little battery operated lantern. It brings joy to my heart to remember this night and how happy they were to share these little things. These girls don't have Barbie dolls or cell phones but they do know how to find joy with very little material things.
This is Maria. She is the mother of four. Her husband has part time work with the government turning on and off a pump that irrigates fields. He also makes brooms and sells them on the streets. She's never had a new set of sheets - actually I doubt if she had any sheets before Evergreen4kids. My friend Marlyn bought a new set of sheets that were a little small for her mattress so she offered them to me for Habanero. I immediately knew I was going to take them to Maria. Look at her face! She was so very happy to have them. Imagine a full set of sheets - complete with matching pillow cases. Unattainable for Maria. A set of sheets like this cost about $30 in Barahona, more than Marlyn paid for them here in America.
Here is a photo of part of my 10x10 room in Habanero. Directly opposite of this (like where I was standing to take the photo is my bed. It's a bunk bed with a double mattress on the bottom and a single on the upper. - it's tight quarters. There's a fan there in the corner and on that same wall is the only electrical outlet in the room. My door doesn't latch or lock but I do have a padlock on it. When I'm here and it's hot and we have no electricity to run the fan I am uncomfortable and if the mosquitoes are out they are looking for blood. When the fan is running it's too breezy for the mosquitoes to fly over and bite me. The fan cools and it protects. In the corner there's a plastic bucket full of battery operated flashlights and lanterns.
About the third week that I am working in Habanero I long for the comforts of my own home here in Washington. I become a little more selfish every day. And I whine a little bit more. I start dreaming of going home........ I want my comfy king size bed with matching sheets and soft pillows. I want to flick a switch and know there is power to turn the light on. I want water I can drink from the faucet instead of hefting 5 gallon jugs of purified water around. I want to take a nice long shower. - I even long for better water pressure!
And then I see the children's faces and Maria's face and I think - how dare I? Maria lugs her water from 50 feet away in old plastic containers that once held oil and she does all her laundry by hand sometimes without soap. The girls shown have never slept in a bed alone, they don't play soccer, they don't take dance or singing lessons, they don't go to movies or restaurants and they don't have battery operated lanterns. How dare I not be grateful just for the fact that my discomfort is only temporary. I'm going back home to the USA. To all the comforts I choose. This is their life every day and there's not much of a choice in most cases.
Lord, forgive me for my ungratefulness and help me to put life in perspective. Appreciating all that you have blessed me .with. Help me to cherish my relationships with precious friends and family. Help me be a good steward of the material wealth you have placed within my reach. Help me to put my life in perspective and live it with gratitude.