Meanwhile in Lazaro Cardines, B.C Mexico…

As I recover from my appendectomy this past week I have had the chance to catch up on things like, nap time, television viewing, visits from my family and friends, also spending time with my caregiver…my husband :). This week my husband reminded me, of a story that I almost forgot to share with you all.

Meanwhile in Lazaro Cardines, B.C Mexico…

When my husband was in Mexico three weeks ago he was able to visit a family that he helped build a permanent house for. This family was living in a structure that even the poor struggle to afford, and were in need of a more permanent home. Many homes in the area where we work are made of cardboard which needs to be replaced constantly. This particular family’s original home was built out of old garage doors. The efficiency of humanity surprises me, mostly because I have not ever had to survive like some do. I have seen the garage door dream homes and used tire stair cases to heaven.

After catching up and sitting down to a refreshing Mexican soda (which is always better because they use real sugar) my husband noticed that the old garage door house was no longer on their property. The father of the family explained that there was another family that had no shelter that was in need. After he moved his family into their new home, he gave his old home away.

Garage Door Dream House – The gray structure is the Garage Door House 2011

They described how the other family destructed the house and took it away piece by piece.

When I think about this it makes me feel thankful for my fellow-man. Thankful that there are people out there who are unconditionally good. Giving is hard, but giving when you are the one in need is even harder. The family could have sold the garage door home, and could have used the money, but they didn’t. They gave,  becoming the neighborhood philanthropist and humanitarian. Sowing where they would not reap.

Giving is infectious, go infect some with a life changing gift.

I want to thank you all for your support. We are seeing some slight improvements in my cousin’s health. Also, for simply reading my blog, Thanks!

The Humanitarian Experience: The Agony of the Unknown Future

UPDATE NOTE: The same day that I finished writing this post (this past Monday 4/16/2012), I was rushed to the hospital where I would undergo an appendectomy. Once you read the post below you will find the irony. I am now recovering – Razz

Dont let the life you lead be BLAND - Hospital food

Don't let the life you lead be BLAND - Hospital food experience

For the past few weeks, my family has been experiencing the stressful and agonizing event of having a loved one in the hospital.

My cousin, who is in the prime of her life, unexpectedly had an aneurysm in her pre-frontal cortex. Over the last two weeks she has had multiple surgeries and procedures performed in an attempt to restore her damaged brain and body.  The brilliant minds continue to work to save her and figure out why this beautiful young woman and otherwise completely healthy person would have her most vital organ suddenly fail.  Her friends and family stand around the bed, watching in complete disbelief that this is the present. And yet despite the unwavered attempts of the brilliant, her body is continuing to fail.

One thing that has made an impact on me, is that she is in her 30’s with an 18-year-old son. She should have decades ahead of her filled with experiences, love and life. And yet today she hangs onto life with the help of a respirator and machine that is pumping her blood for her. I want so badly to see her stand tall, with her model like figure, amazing smile, sweet eyes and gorgeous hair, but for now I wait.

I know that she is not ready yet, not many of us are. When she is occasionally conscious she expresses herself as a human with the will to live, not one ready to leave the earthly consciousness.

In faith I am praying for a miracle, strength and hope, while completely understanding the risks at hand.

As you know I write about the amazing things that I have seen people do with disregard for their personal gain. The humanitarian lifestyle. Even in this on-going event I find a humanitarian. I will call her Nancy. Nancy is a friend/employer of my cousin, who through her life’s work is connected with the people who are the top of the field of medicine. She has basically given my cousin a fighting chance. She immediately demanded and provided the means for my cousin to be sent to one of the most prestigious learning hospitals in the U.S. It is there is where the brilliant minds do what they do best. The fact that Nancy would do this, leads me to understand that my cousin has made such a positive impact on the life another, that this demand for the best is the act of gratitude. Thank you Nancy.

My cousin is also the humanitarian in this story. For years she has volunteered her time and energy in the future of the youth. Over the years she has given her time to encourage and facilitate the dreams of young athletes in her area. I know that she has touched the lives of many young adults who have benefited from her volunteerism. Just a few days ago, a family who she has cultivated a relationship with from her active role in their son’s boxing career showed up at the hospital. They drove over 3 hours to see her and just be with her.

As I contemplate the fragility of life, the lack of control and the will of man, I have begun to wonder, should my life be cut short of my “plans” would I be satisfied with my contribution to this world, this experience?

If your life was to come to a sudden halt and the plans forever out of reach, which actions and accomplishments would you be most grateful that you have accomplished? Leave out the regrets and tell me what you are grateful for thus far.

Our lives cannot be mapped or charted until we have lived them. This is the Agony of the Unknown future.

The Humanitarian Experience: You better check yourself Ms. Negative Nancy

Being someone who goes to places and does humanitarian work I sometimes run into Ms. (or Mr.) Negative Nancy.
Why are you doing that? There are plenty of people right here who could use a new house, why not help here?
Sigh… questions like this make me want to shake my head and walk away, cause they clearly do not get it. But alas, I am polite! I smile and if I have the patience that day and the inquiring party has it as well I will try to explain.
I will admit on a grand scale my one act of humanitarianism makes, almost no difference at all. But It does influence and gets people thinking when they hear about what my friends and I do.
Why are you doing that?
Because there is a calling in my life that has brought me to love this kind of work. My heart is filled with joy and I personally, cannot watch this place get any worse without at least trying to do something.
Our short-term projects can seem like a whirlwind events. Build the house, give out clothes, make dinner for the people you are serving, clean water projects and catch a few rays on downtime. All done over a 1 – 2 week period. Since these are short-term trips we cannot make the connections that more permanent projects get to enjoy, but one thing is for sure, I have seen quite a few people become so empowered by the short-term experience that they have vowed to do this professionally (but not glamorously!).
There are plenty of people right here who could use a new house, why not help here?
My previous answer leads to this question’s answer. Those people who were inspired enough, to have made it a life goal to help people professionally will have a greater impact over time. Time is their best friend, in that they can devote years to a cause, making a generational impact. I know a few people who have gone on a foreign trip and become inspired to work here in the hurting places of America.
And yes, I help here too! why wouldn’t I? I am not ignorant to the fact that there are people who have fallen through the cracks of our ginormous government assistance programs. There the children who are being sold into sexual slavery and elderly who have no one, children growing up in a home of drugs and the jobless of America.
Plus, I can’t do it all, and neither can you. I have to pick my causes, one cause is not greater than the other. Everyone should at least pick one! I believe that it personally helps the giver the most. I applaud everyone who has a cause, whether it be rescuing puppies from euthanasia or de-mining war zones. It is better to have one than none.

I couldn't find a good picture for this post. Since I mentioned Puppies it seemed to be the cutest option! So, will you save the Puppies?

I wrote this post to give encouragement to those who have been on my side of these discussions.
I write this blog not brag, but to reveal the state of the world and the humanitarian experience overall, maybe even inspire someone to become the next not so glamorous humanitarian.
So my faithful readers… What is your cause?
One is better than none