Friday, March 5, 2010

One man's trash

What a great couple of weeks it has been. I have been so busy and loving every moment. I ate a guinea pig. They are considered a delicacy here and our Spanish teacher took us out to experience it. I am going to feel so guilty the next time I encounter a furry, rodent-sized house pet. It was served with its head and claws and was very salty and chewy. Poor little suckers.

Yesterday, I went zip-lining through the canopy! It was probably the coolest thing I've ever done. It was a beautiful, foggy day and we were up so high. I loved it.

Today, during my shift at the orphanage I was holding a 13-year-old handicapped girl named Maria Jose. She is blind and mostly deaf. She can't walk or communicate and she is the size of a small child. She has a feeding tube and is very fragile. I've never been able to spend much time with her because the workers are very protective of her. I decided to take her over to the playground and swing with her. The moment my feet propelled us forward, her eyes widened and suddenly she was laughing. She laughed and laughed and blinked her eyes. I did not even know she could laugh until that moment. The next thing I knew, I was in tears. I guess it was just such a relief to know that she could experience such joy and does not have to go through life without recognizing it. I realized that everything is relative. Many of us see that happiness is acquired through progression. We want to get a degree, we want to get married, we work our way up the career ladder, we have kids. But the kids I work with here will never have that. But they still get up and they still smile. For the rest of us, it takes an expensive gift, a wedding, a new baby, a pay raise for us to experience the amount of jubilee that I saw on Maria's face today. All it took was the wind on her face. Even if I tried, that swing could not make me as happy as it made her and in that sense, I am the one who is handicapped. I am desensitized to the simple beauties of the world around me whereas she can truly appreciate it. She loved swinging and I loved watching her love it. Some moments just change your life.



  1. That is probably the best way to leave Ecador, having those thoughts and feelings. Thank you for sharing :)