Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My life

What is this life that I live that is hard to fully understand? Why is this now such a part of who I am? I long for others to know this, to see and feel as I do.

This is my life. It's waking up to the roosters at 5 am, then music from the loud speakers at 6:30. It's greeting Domy my neighbor in her salon next door and having oatmeal with cloves and milk for breakfast. It's the joy of my day to hear my kids singing after lunch, clapping and smiling, their tough exteriors wiped away even if for only 20 minutes. It's dirt roads, potholes, crossing rivers to get to the school, cane fields, rain and sun and heat. It's Spanish and Creole, rice and beans and plantains and yucca.

I feel like my life here is built on relationships and moments I get to spend with others. It's hearing Big Wilson speak English, hugging Zenida closely, watching mischevious little Vldamir get in trouble again. It's listening to Lydia's wisdom and watching Alberto' faith. It's getting special coffee made for me because Zeneida knows I love it. It's having Gira on my back saying to her dad "Papi, mira!" And it's watching Princesa grow, holding her tight, cuddling her when she cries.

I think this life is hard to understand because it has taken me so far away. But it's not about leaving family and friends, it's about finding them wherever I am. Yet, it's leaving, but it's not forgetting or loving any less. If anything, I cherish even more the time I am given with my family and friends.

When no electricity, bucket showers, dirt in the elbow crease that almost never seems to wash away, and a regular application of DEET have become such a way of life for me, it is hard to imagine anything else.

To be with these children, with those around my, that's what my days are. To not only share Jesus' joy with them, but to truly find it in their eyes and hearts. If only for today little Frankie knows that he is loved, that is enough for me, my job is done.

What started as a 5-week trip has now become my heart and my passion. It's tracing an 8 year old's hand because she can't write her name yet on a card to her sponsor. It's giving kids a chance, a help, a hope. Even if it means organizing yet another bag of clothes, translating one more time the same thing, or getting another fungal infection, I will take it all!

This is my life. Sometimes hard to undersand, seemingly chance for me to end up here, but feeling that it has been planned for years, these are my days. Sharing love, finding joy, letting go of self to discover something greater. I understand this life. I love this life.

And as rain echoes from the tin roof next door and the little girl in the street runs around in her undies chanting "lluvia, lluvia!", I feel at peace. For here, for now, this is where I belong.

3 comments:

Kylee said...

beautiful! And I thought i had a great job making a difference!

You are an inspiration Jessi!

Amy Cassidy said...

Wow, Jessi,I love you! I'm so thankful for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jessi!! I love you and I'm sooo thankful for you!!

- Amy Cassidy