Volunteering is a life-changing Experience


wolf-wideA few year ago I received an invitation from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, to go to Honduras to help a small village check out the local underground water line coming from a nearby hill. For six days, we spent seven hours a day in 90-degree temperatures digging an 18-to-24-inch trench to a plastic water pipe that was pulled out and checked for cleanliness. We slept at a local church dorm and received home-cooked meals from a local family.

By day three, I began to enjoy talking to Frank, the local man in Honduras who was hired to supervise the American volunteers. Frank was married and had six children. He built a house on three acres of land and his family lived off a large garden, several pigs, chickens and cows. He did part-time work every once in a while to bring home some cash. One day I asked Frank how much he spent to buy the three acres of land and his house. You could tell by his facial expression that he was concerned about my question and why was I asking. He told me it was $3,000, and then he asked me how much my house cost? I put my hand on his shoulder and said $124,000. Frank nearly fainted.

What I learned from my Honduras volunteer trip was that just because the average Honduras citizen only makes $5 a day, Honduras citizens were not unhappy. We in America need to realize that making money and having material possessions does not necessarily make a person happy. Family and being connected to Mother Earth make us happy. Thank you, Frank, for changing my thought process along my life journey.


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