I believe in keeping things in perspective. During the summer going into my senior year in high school I decided that I wanted to join my schools missionary trip to Nicaragua. After weeks of meetings and preparation we were only days away from the trip and I still didn’t know what to expect, looking back now there was nothing that they said in those meeting or that I could have read online that would have prepared me for what I would experience over the next week.
After a few hours of flying and waiting for connecting flights we finally landed in Chinandega, Nicaragua. As soon as the plane dipped below the clouds I knew I was in for something that I couldn’t even of imagined a week earlier. We immediately got on the bus and began our two-hour journey out to rural Nicaragua. Just sitting in the bus looking out the window I saw levels poverty that were previously unimaginable. We stopped by a garbage dump that the government “temporarily” moved people fifteen years ago, but never came back for them. There were hundreds of people literally living on top of the nations garbage. By the time we made it to our home for the week I knew I was in for a life changing experience.
We spent the majority of the next six days digging waterlines for the town. Prior to the water line the people of the town would have to walk miles just to get polluted water from a stream several times a day. To think that these people would have to take hours out of their day just to get something that so many of us take for granted. Almost just as shocking as their way of life was how genuinely happy they were everyday. You would get off the bus and a kid who’s house you worked on yesterday would come and give you a hug and hang around with you for the day. Even without a strong grasp of the Spanish language we formed bonds with them that I surly will never forget.
I didn’t really realize how much of my life I took for granted until I got back home. I thought about how I rode a plane to get in a car to go into a restaurant and get served hot food to going back to an air conditioned home to sleep in a bed, all things that those kids had never experienced before. They had to worry about if they were going to get enough clean water that day and we are here worrying about if we are going to get the newest Smartphone. I believe that once we start thinking about what we have as opposed to what we don’t have the world becomes a lot better place.