FIRSTS

Her first new clothes $2.50.

Cost to support this orphan for a year $200 (house, cot, caretaker, food, school fees and supplies)

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Her first chance to work out of poverty: a $45 microloan.

She weaves baskets on the roadside and lives in a roadside tent made of canvas and plastic. For the first time in her life, she has dreams of upgrading to a one-room hut and eating more than once every other day.

Why did I post these photos?

So people will stop asking me why I go to India. Right now, after six weeks and my plane leaving in less than a day, I feel like I never want to come back to this heartbreaking place. But after a few months, I remember the smiles more than the stench, I remember that for $45 I can change a woman’s life. I remember that my daughter and grandson brought an incredible world of joy to six orphans and I will want to see them again so I can send Pam and Cameron more photos.  I remember that God gave me an incredible gift in pushing me (bitching and moaning of course) on this path 25 years ago instead of letting me be a Famous Travel Writer staying in 5-star resorts. I remember that I cannot hide this gift in the closet with the outgrown jeans and near-miss gifts. I remember that no matter what I do is just a teardrop in an ocean of need, but as someone once said, it is my teardrop.

I am so grateful to be going home. I am so tired of basic accommodations and no TV and bugs and dirt and dust. I am so tired of not understanding the language, of not being able to get around by myself, of being careful about the food and water, of dealing with a different culture. I am leaving my teardrop here in India. It will take months for another teardrop to form.

And then I will be on a plane to some god-forsaken place, knowing that that is where god lives and that is where god expects me to go and maybe between these hard trips I’ll get some R&R in Rome.

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2 Responses to “FIRSTS”

  1. Jim Says:

    “I remember that no matter what I do is just a teardrop in an ocean of need, but as someone once said, it is my teardrop.” Great line. If everyone did something – it would change the needs of the world immensely. Whether it is India, Haiti, in the next town or next door, there is always a great sense of accomplishment when helping others.

    I can do more, that’s for sure. Not too long ago I wrote a post “Ignoring a Call For Help” that highlights how I felt when I didn’t help. It can be read here: http://wp.me/pNj07-M

    Great post… and props for adding pictures!

  2. stiggerink Says:

    Jim, I like your post. We’ve all ignored calls for help.

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