I just returned from a 2 week visit to the States. I actually got a week of vacation in (visiting really cool places like Yosemite and Glacier National Parks) and then I spent a week at Synod School where I was able to present a class about the mission here as well as attend classes for myself. That was a good week (but very tiring).
So now I’m back. And as usual upon return, there were lots of things to catch up on: good news, not so good news … updates on things that were up in the air before I left …
I got to Berlin yesterday afternoon and THIS afternoon I have to go back to San Salvador to pick up the Heartland delegation. There are only 3 of them this trip so the week should be relatively easy. But it will still be a full week with minimal computer time.
Observations from abroad:
As I was sitting in the airport restaurant eating my guacamole burger (yum) I was thinking about all the people bustling about and eavesdropping on snippets of conversation here and there … and I was thinking that possibly the majority of the people there are clueless about the realities of the poor in developing countries.
I wasn’t being judgmental … a little at first maybe – but I snapped myself out of that attitude because it was wrong. It is just the way it is. We are born into our life (you can insert your own philosophical thoughts on why we are who we are and born into our worlds as we are) and we are products of our environment and upbringing. And our culture and society.
And some of us stumble upon opportunities to see the bigger picture and some of us (lots of people really) try to do something about it in whatever capacity we are able.
The bigger picture can be overwhelming though.
Feelings of guilt … feelings of insecurity… feelings of hypocrisy…
I have a huge variety of emotions that run through me when I go back to the states. I do love being in El Salvador and working with the Pastoral Team. I love the people we serve. I don’t mind (usually) the relatively Spartan lifestyle – knowing it is far better than what it could be!!
But when I’m in the states, I really enjoy the creature comforts. And I could see myself falling into the attitude of taking all those things for granted and using them without thought of those who are without. I’m talking about amenities such as water availability and relative purity, constant electricity, wonderful roadways, trash pick up, stores and stores and stores where I can find anything I need or want at any time of the day or night, being out at night even, the ability to get in out of the rain or constant dust. Machines to wash my clothes and dishes. Carpet.
I really still am somewhat spoiled. I don’t like that in me.