Still Processing

14 Jun

It’s been weeks since I returned from Nicaragua.

A few days back, though, a co-worker asked me a question and, instead of answering with “yes,” I quickly, and unexpectedly, said, “si.”  After laughing, embarrassed, I told her about the memory I had been recalling when she spoke.

I was thinking of Nancy’s three girls with whom I managed to communicate with for a short while one afternoon when their madrina was resting.  They knew a few words of English, and I was able to teach them new vocabulary words with my limited Spanish.  It was such a sweet conversation in which these little ones and I learned something from each other.  There were a lot of giggles and it was absolutely delightful.

To be dreadfully honest, however, it took a while for the pleasant, happy memories to overshadow the overwhelming sense of excess I felt when I came back to the States.  I hadn’t planned on discussing this, as I felt it was somehow too personal: I cried off-and-on for nearly 24 hours once I got home.

I’ve spoken with a variety of people who have had similar experiences, so I know it’s normal.  The thing is … you start to question your position in the world and why there is such a dichotomy of wealth.  How is it that so many people in the ‘developed world’ suffer from depression and anxiety when we have clean water, flushing toilets, roofs over our heads, and food in our bellies?  It just doesn’t make sense.

My problems seem so much smaller now that I’ve seen how our girls live, and I can assure you I appreciate all that I have with renewed sense of vigor.  While I am glad the tears are gone, I’m deeply grateful for a more meaningful sense of compassion for our students.

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