hump day

So hump day has come and gone.  If feels like we’ve been here for much longer than three weeks. We were in Santa Marta last week, staying with different families in the community.  The trip was prefaced in Kirksville with the message that we were going to a community without electricity or English for a week.  At the time I remember thinking how exotic it was going to be, staying somewhere without electricity for that amount of time.  It was hard to imagine that kind of life, because things like running water and electricity are often taken for granted, and it’s almost unimaginable to think of someone living without them.

However, after living in Panama for three weeks, most of the time without electricity readily available and without the guarantee of a supply of fresh water, the trip to Santa Marta didn’t seem nearly as daunting.  It turned out to not be much of a change at all.  Although by standards in America, the community would probably be classified as below the poverty line, they have more fulfilling lives than those of many middle and upper class Americans.

In the mornings they wake up with the light of the sun and prepare the food they’ve grown with their own hands.  The community is full of hard working people, who all seem to strive toward a common goal.  They place there family above the material possessions that we think we need, and spend the time with each other that we spend in front of the TV or on the internet. Their houses are simple, but beautiful, and were built with their own hands. Our house was completely surrounded with lush vegetation, including a mandarin tree that the kids climbed up and tossed down the mandarins to us. They also are surrounded by their family, and often the house was full of nieces and nephews coming to visit.

Overall the visit left me feeling enlightened, and enthusiastic about life.  I feel now that poverty is more of an outlook on life than an economic status, and that whatever state you’re given in life it can be fulfilling as long as you see it that way.

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