I have got to find a way for my mind to calm down. The silence, if not controlled can be devastating. However, I have been focusing on the beauty of the sunrise and sunset. I've attempted to focus on the glimmers of peace that shed its presence in my very experience. In those moments, I am filled with a profound sense of joy.
Today was a really hard day for me. The coffee addiction I had has now been broken as pounding headaches have finally subsided. I feel irritable today and hungry. I have some almonds left along with some Del Monte dried apricots that I'm savoring for as long as possible. I found that if I mix water in between the raisins, it seems to fill me up more. If I stay out here much longer, I will need to figure out how to get a gas grill or gas stove or just get wood and start burning a fire for cooking of vegetables. One day at a time, or as my mom would always say,
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it,"
Today, as I was peering out over the ocean waters, I was reminded of that common phrase from my mother. The brutal heat, the lack of food, and the ongoing gritty sand in my mouth just caused me to need some time to look out over the water. I did a lot of reading this morning, and Victor came to visit me in the afternoon when we went for a walk. The silence is starting to close in on me a little bit and I needed some time to walk and see something fresh and beautiful. Wondering when I will go back to Lima, I studied the islands that continued on for as far as I could see. I wanted to somehow escape to those islands. I think sometimes, the very things that we know to be so hard and difficult to accomplish are the very objectives that we choose to tackle.
In my journey through the series of surprises, which as my wise father defines is pretty much what life is, I have found many horrific, challenging, and engaging experiences to embrace. From having Legg Perthesis disease, to a hearing loss, to losing my twin brother, and losing several immediate family members, I never am amazed, however, at one crucial factor.
In every circumstance, in every challenge, and in every horrific tragedy, I have found an inner strength from my Creator that has birthed me the sense of resilience. Getting bullied ? Yes, I experienced that. Getting raped by a senior in high school while in the boys locker room my freshman year? Yes, that happened. I became resilient.
The ability to bounce back from tragedy, to pick one's self up, brush off the grime, dust, cobwebs, and other rocks that have wedged themselves into the soul is nothing short of a miraculous and divine intervention from the Creator.
As I walked down to the rocky coast of the ocean crests, I found a rubbish pile. Fragmented pieces of tile, brick, and cement blobs of rocks were amongst the rubbish. Shavings from a lumberyard, a few metal parts shimmered in the blinding sun. I rummaged carefully through the remains and pondered how the Creator shifts through the painful parts of our journey and carefully picks up and gently treasures the valuable parts of our lives.
I can imagine that so many children that live here in the desert feel like our western world has left them on the rubbish pile. They see us, with light skin and blue eyes, and I sense they wonder why we have allowed them to suffer so. I remember one time, a young man asked me the forever haunting question that remains in me today,
"why did I have to be born as one of the poor people in the world?"
I will never forget that question and even to this day, only the answer is one of those that I will find at the end of the world's horizon.
Today, as the day wore on, I wandered down to the corner "store". I had a great afternoon, despite the hunger pains that are starting to stab me now and then as I have decided to just stick with my remaining almonds, dried raisins and apricots, and hope for the best. As the ongoing campaign for Voices4Peru has now reached 15 sponsors for 15 children, Voices4Peru still has 15 children that need an education. As I have promised, I will remain here, even past the 4 day countdown toward the goal, until the funds and sponsors have been spoken for and the 15 remaining children will receive an education. I don't know how long I will stay here in this water thirsty desert of Santa Rosa, but this afternoon, the entertainment and friends that I met made my hours slip away.
I found a 3rd downgraded version of some "Street Fighter," game that made me smile. For only 3 cents, one can play this game for ten minutes.
Maria, my first new friend from the corner "store" took me on in the game and clearly murdered me clean, by winning every time.
I think to escape away from the stark and harsh reality of the sun's treacherous rage, a 10 minute game was on the cards for relief from the summer burning of the sun's rays.
This young girl, Maria whopped me on all 10 minutes of the game, and furthermore brought in more attention from other kids in the neighborhood. Elvis and his primo, Angel came storming onto the scene to see the "neighbor gringo," take on Street Fighter. We had some laughs, and I was humbled to get to know a bit more of their lives. They are 12, 11, and 12 year old kids that have conflicting opinions about their global community. Maria seems to have been burned by family members and seems extremely shy and timid. Angel, the kid in the red sweatshirt, frowned the whole time. He is 12 years old that does not attend school. He wants to attend school but his parents don't live together, and his mother has no source of funding. He is on the street. He has sold candy in the streets, and he fears getting shipped off to the rock mine where children are forced to chisel away at rocks for their bosses. Elvis, the other young person, took on Maria in a good battle of Street Fighter after I had to bow out.
The hour passed by quickly and we shared, laughed, and talked. It was one of the longest conversations that I've had since I've moved here to the desert. On my 3rd full day, my mornings seem so extended to my thoughts about the sponsorship program, wondering if I will ever get to go back to Lima, to my apartment. Perhaps this is all inclusive of the "surprise aspect" of the journey that life is pretty much a series of adventures. I was humbled by the precious time that I had with my new friends. We parted ways and Elvis asked me if I would be here tomorrow, and I said, of course. He asked me for how long was I staying for? I simply responded, "for as long as it takes,"
These precious lives have never been on the rubbish pile of life, rather these children shine as priceless gems in a vast field of roses. They are all waiting for that incredible inspiration of someone to come along and treasure, cherish, and honor them as individuals. I am humbled to know each of the people that I met today.
He was to be an experimental scientist. I know its possible.
Who will step up and take care of the children like Angel, who will end up working in some slave labor situation, forced to pay debts to his boss, and survive only to work for his slave boss.
Who will step up and bring education to these children?
Who will bring hope to a child ?
Who will fight child slavery ?
Who will stop the trafficking of humans from South America.
Is it you ?
Only 15 more partners to go, and you can also change the world by being involved on so many levels to ensure that these children will be changed.
So, I continue roaming the Peruvian desert, talking to people and experiencing what they experience by the very people who make up the majority of our global community.
Advocate, speak up, fight for the rights of the poor and needy. Defend the rights of those who are destitute. Let us fight against child slavery and human trafficking by educating these children and giving hope to where hope was lost.
Links available to the ongoing life in the desert and the ongoing campaign to bring Daniel Klopp home sooner and to help children get an education.
https://youtu.be/CvnD0cMGHXs Day 01
https://youtu.be/P2WIESWSq_c Night of day 02
https://youtu.be/x1_txWmz6q8 Day 02