Participant Blog: The Only Difference is Geography
Have you ever had one of those days that left your head spinning? Wednesday, July 4 2007 has changed me forever. As we were pulling up to the dump in town I thought I would be more prepared for what was to come since I had been there twice before, but I was wrong. A fellow student leader, Rana and I were walking around attempting to say hello in as many languages as we could, since the people working there are such scholars and usually know at least 4 other languages. “Hola, bonjour, salut…hello?” We were also trying to deal with the fact that we were standing in ‘whoknowswhat’ but realizing that as soon as we got back on that bus we could come back and clean off made it a lot easier.
We were walking around handing out fresh glasses of agua (water) to the workers and one particular ladies story opened my eyes. While rummaging through waste-deep piles of rubbish, she told us that she generally is able to collect 7 or 8 garbage bags full of bottles a day and she earns around 5 pesos per bag with which she supports her family. Once we calculated it and realized that this woman is surviving on around $1.00 a day, I couldn’t help thinking “this could be me.” The only thing that separates us is where I was born.
Later that same day we were invited to a small village nearby, where most of these workers live, because they were having a special church service, and small group of us decided to go. Upon arrival I made two very special amigas, a mother and her 3 year old daughter. At the service, while my new amiga was sitting on my lap and the pastor was welcoming all the “gringos” as brothers and sisters, I again thought that the only explanation for why I’m not in their dire situation is geography. But at that moment we were all the same. That little girl proved to me that despite what seems like the most desperate of situations you can still laugh and live and love. I fell in love with her on this day and will never be able to forget her gorgeous eyes looking up at me. I will never forget that I was created with a purpose, to make a difference in someone else’s life. To use what I have been blessed with to bless others.
Since Wednesday, everytime I close my eyes I have not been able to forget the feelings I had on that day. The friendships I made on that day. And the peace God gave me on that day.
~Krissie, student leader from Ontario
*All participants are given the opportunity to blog so many views are represented. These views do not neccesarily reflect the views of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development. If you are a Hero Holiday participant that would like to share your experience please email your story (and picture, if possible) to firstname.lastname@example.org