A Reshape in Perspective
Over my summer break of 2014, and adventure occurred. Now not to get the word, "adventure." Confused with scenes that may have been taken away from and an Indiana Jones movie - where he is out exploring ancient civilization, searching for lost treasure, or escaping danger - no, this type of adventure was one that had taken place in the small country of Nicaragua. Just north of Costa Rica. This little country is filled with a big population of farmer’s, merchant’s, peddler’s, and the most out of them all would be the homeless.
Rewinding back two weeks, I was sitting in the PDX airport reading Stephen King’s memoir, “On Writing.” Just sitting - waiting for the remaining time of my 7 hour delay to pass. Not giving a second thought to my surroundings. Around me at this gate with the prodigious windows looking out the black murkiness of the June night I hadn’t thought about how the room was laid out - every other chair happened to have an outlet on the center of the armrest, the building was air conditioned, not too crowded, there was current technology, and actual drinking fountains that were safe to drink from. All of these things I had completely overlooked at the time. However, looking back at the moment now trying to justify this I think to myself, “Well of course I hadn’t paid any attention I hadn’t the slightest reason to.”
While this may be true - I mean who in America walks into a room and goes, “Wow there are a lot of outlets in here.”? I still can’t manage to get over the fact of how much my perspective on poverty changed after coming back into the states from an underdeveloped country such as Nicaragua. Most people that I had mentioned going there to for a couple of weeks were all for the most part puzzled. More often than not they would say, “Nicaragua? Why Nicaragua, are you going on a mission trip with your church?”
If I had been paying attention at the time I would have taken the hint and found that when churches go on mission trips they for the most part visit third world countries. Alas, being the unobservant individual that I am, I had yet to connect the dots so at the time I had not realized what my family had gotten us into by taking us to this country stricken by poverty. However I also did not know what poverty was until I came back from the country of Nicaragua.
Fast forwarding 19 hours - eight of them being the flight to Houston Texas, the four that it took to get over the Atlantic towards Nicaragua, and also the 7 hours worth of delays waiting in Portland - we finally arrive to the single airport in the entire country. Stepping off of that quite, dark, and air conditioned air plane into the blaring, beaming, and broiling room through to the security was a surprising experience. Instead of the tropical warmth in the air that I was initially expecting turned out to be air that was thick with an unwelcome oppressive humidity that sent me stumbling over my own two feet at first, because of how heavy and damp the moisture carried in the air weighed me down. Little did I know at the time; this in Nicaraguan standards was an air conditioned building. This fact hadn’t hit me until the moment came for us to make the journey through the two sliding doors to the world outside. As the glass doors slide back on their ruts a literal wave of heat came rolling in. Not only was the wave of heat enough of a shock alone, but as we stepped out on the baking concrete outside and looked out at our surrounding I noticed that every Nicaraguan jumping in and out of their cars were all wearing jeans - jeans in this 100 degree muggy weather. Needless to say my first impression of the Nicaraguan people, was that they were absolutely crazy.
After leaving the airport, this is where my perspective really changed. A taxi took us to our hotel, and on our trip there I caught my first glimpse of what the word poverty really meant. I had heard stories from my 10th grade English…