I think about the ‘restaurant’ with sand floors beneath our feet. I think about the chickens scratching in the sand beneath our table. The pigs and their lazy oinks just beyond the tin roofed veranda that kept the hot South American sun from beating down on our pale skin. I can taste the almost flat, but so very cool and refreshing glass bottle of Coca-Cola that I held in my hands. I am reminded to sip out of a straw and not touch my lips to the mouth of the bottle. I don’t know why, but I comply.
Looking around, my child-self takes in the scene. I realize that this place we stopped at on the side of the only paved highway, if you can call it that, through the country, is not really a restaurant. It is someone’s home. The scarcely clothed children are playing in the sand on the yard. The parents are cooking us a meal, hoping that these ‘gringo’ will pay them well for the meal they have ordered. The cats and dogs also make their way to our table, hoping that one of us four children will drop part of our meal. And we probably did, because we were kids. That’s what kids do.
This scene will forever be imbedded in my memory and it surprises me how often I think of that family and the pigs and the chickens almost thirty years later. I tell my Gentle Giant about the importance of these chickens and these pigs to less fortunate families in third world countries. And just like that he’s on a mission. He researches organizations that provide families with farm animals and decides to buy some goats and chickens to help the less fortunate so far away.
The next day he goes to work and sends a quick email asking if anyone else would like to buy some goats and chickens and to both of our surprise our donation is tripled and we feel like we are buying a whole farm of goats and chickens, pigs and rabbits. Jason has the opportunity to talk about his experience abroad. He talks about my experience and many of these wonderful people who made a donation feel a connection. They feel a small bit of what it is like to give to the greater world out there.
And it is in moments like this that my heart fills with so much. It is one of those moments where it is confirmed that we can make a difference from the comfort of our homes, on this side of the world where we are safe and warm, fed and surrounded with so much. An abundance. Yes, making our way to other parts of the world to make a difference is important and life changing, but when you can’t or it’s not the right season of life, these moments of sharing our abundance with those near and far fills my soul. And my wanderlust soul rests again.
Beautiful, Iris!So well written, it touches my soul. I also have bought chicken for special parts of this world. It seems to be the best thing to do to help people to become self sustainable. Thanks, for sharing this!
Thank you. And thank you for buying chickens as one way to make a difference and help people become self sustainable. Such a seemingly small gesture on our part is a blessing beyond what we could ever imagine for those on the receiving end.