Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Nope. I'm not home yet... I went to Bismark’s home tonight for the first time. Bismark has been driving me around and helping me out for the past 3 months, but has become so much more than a “driver” to me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting his family, attending his church, hanging out with his mom, and even playing some epic games of padiddle with him. However, today was the first time I saw his house.
Bismarksito ran and jumped into my arms once I walked in the gate of the house. He was excited to give me the grand tour. Bismark lives with his wife Diana, and 3 kids Dianita (8), Bismarksito (5) and Sarita (9 months). I was extremely humbled by how simply his family lives. They were extremely proud to show me the 1 room with 3 beds, a stove, fridge, toilet, outdoor sink, a few toys, clothes, pots and pans that they all share. They have very relatively few material possessions to call their own- very little clutter and crap. It didn’t surprise me at all. I have learned that the poverty and simplicity of life is not limited to La Chureca, the trash dump where I spend my days. Poverty is everywhere in this country. Middle class doesn’t really exist. The high class represents less than 10% of the population and keep to themselves in a very small fraction of this city.
Nor did it surprise me to see how happy and content his family is at home. They are not rich in material possessions but in the unconditional love they have for each other, their faith, their generosity, and their desire to give what little they have to others. Because their lives are filled with the things that are truly important, they don't have any need for any more stuff. I was filled with hope and happiness being there and being surrounded by their partly constructed new "dream" home, sitting in the front yard of their property. When Bismark has a little extra money left over at the end of the month, he buys another few cinderblocks and adds them on to the house. Someday- who knows when, the house will finally be finished.
Perhaps we spend too much time in our lives trying to fill the gaping holes with more things, more money, and more power. Perhaps we search for the wrong things to make us happy-maybe the problem is that we’re looking for things...
I hope to return home in 3 weeks! rejuvenated and content. My life is rich in relationships, experiences, adventure, faith and love. I have been blessed with more in my short 21 years than I could ever need- something that I hope to not take for granted.

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