as if time has wings as well as an anchor. Though we only
U.S. 4 weeks ago, the memories of the goodbyes and our
first sights of
this "new world" seem ages and ages past. Yet,
at the same time waving
adios through the bus window and meeting our new families
are images ever
ingrained and vivid in our minds. Our experiences are
new and many and
pull the mind, the emotions, and the heart into a life-long
tug of war.
past week has been especially revealing as we visited
over the weekend. For two days and two nights we slept
on wooden boards
without pillows, ate among chickens and manges, awoke
to a thousand
rooster's crows at 3am, learned to sport greasy hair
along with clothes
that should have been washed three wears ago, gained
learned vital lessons from the simplest of living, built
relationships, and developed a real sense of how unjust,
unequal our world is; the world in which we all live
and not all love.
This truth was strengthened even more for us during
our "Contrast tour".
Contrast tour consisted of visiting the Guatemalan city
basurero fills a huge ravine in the middle of the city.
10,000 Guatemalans work in the dump, scavenging through
the remains in
order to find food or to find recyclables to turn in
for maybe $1 a day.
Out of these 10,000, 6,500 are children. Many of the
live in, or very near, the dump. This is their life:
living, eating, and
breathing waste. The junk and waste of the Guatemalan
people makes a
"living" (or more so a mere "survival")
for these 10,000 scavengers.
Witnessing this lifestyle and having the ability to
walk away from it is
beyond any definition and explanation of emotion.
our departure from a 3rd world way of living, we drove
minutes in the opposite direction to zona 14, one of
communities in the city where BMWs and Mercedes are
more than common. And
so we saw extreme poverty being next door neighbors
with extreme wealth;
both banging on the other's front door. Sad to say that
for the most
part, the knock remains unanswered. With these experiences,
unfathomable not to feel a responsibility. A responsibility
with being a citizen of the richest country in the world
and with the
ability to now peel off our blindfold of ignorance.
For the remaining
duration of our time here, after being exposed to so
much in only 3 weeks,
I feel it is fair to say that Guatemala has many more
questions to feed to our inquiring and curious minds.