Sometimes I wonder “should I have taken a cruise with my husband?” or “maybe we should take a fishing trip to Alaska.” Now that would be a vacation. This is no vacation for me I can’t imagine what it is for those who live like this their whole lives. I do get to go back each night to a hotel room with AC, shower, toilet, and a bed. I am in awe of how little they have and can laugh and smile all the time. I realize not all Pilipino live like this but the community I am in is mostly poor. I want to share all my comforts and give them everything I have. I don’t know if that is what they want, or, if it is what I want for them.
It reminds me of a time 6 years ago I was president of a women’s organization at church. We had some very poverty stricken homes in our neighborhood and I was on the committee to help rebuild these people’s homes. One home could see the sky through their roof and their plumbing was not working so they used the outdoors. Yes this was right down the road from me in small town Gilbert. We had a group of people work for about a week rebuilding and refurbishing the entire home so it would be something each of us would be comfortable living in . The little lady who lived there with her brother, son and granddaughter was thankful but also reminded me we did not need to do this as she was fine the way it was. She grew up south of us and lived in a small one room home with her family and gleaned the potatoes fields. Within about a year her home looked similar to the time before we rebuilt it. She took in anyone on the streets that needed a place to stay. It was not kept up the way one might have wanted them to keep it up.
I learned a lesson from that experience. Don’t change things for others the way I want it to be, help them have it the way they want it to be. I find myself wanting to put in AC units, get indoor plumbing or even an outhouse, water purifier systems, bigger rooms, furniture, electricity, refrigerator and stoves. I remind myself of my lesson learned to leave things the way they are. If they want something bad enough they will make it happen or they will ask. We saw so many needs for our good friend Mildred and were actually able to help her a little today with a few added conveniences. It was fun and I know she will get good use out of the one burner gas stove, and an extra pan to cook her steam rolls in. I could have bought the whole store for her as she has nothing but will let her have her experience in life. I can’t steal others growth experiences by giving them everything I think they would want or have. Any of us who have raised children have the same experience. We can’t save them from their growth opportunity even though we would sure like to.
Sweating is all you can do in this heat and humidity. Most people walk around with a hand towel tucked into the back of their shirt to keep the sweat from running down their back. Feeling dusty, dirty and wet is all an acceptable thing. No make-up, and no hair do is necessary, it will all melt off any way.
I noticed on facebook friends commenting that I’m amazing. I cried when I saw that because that’s not the case. The people I ‘m meeting are amazing. They have changed my whole perspective on life. They’ve taught me courage to do things no matter what. Hope for a better life. To love and share what you have. To be happy and share joy with others. I am the one that’s been blessed to meet a loving, generous, determined and industrious people. They are my new heroes.