On our drive to the work site we passed the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. We made sure to hop out and take a picture in another country! This was my second visit to Nicaragua.
My first visit to Nicaragua was unexpected. My small group was distributing bags of food to families when Sergio, our leader, got out of the truck, opened a gate, and waved us through. Then Sergio let us know we had entered Nicaragua. We were a little unsure about this, because there wasn’t anyone to stamp our passports or check our bags. So, we blindly went along for the journey. We drove until the rode was no longer passable and we then got out and walked. And then we walked. And walked some more. We walked for half an hour before we even saw a house. I thought surely this most be the house, but then we walked past that house. The path narrowed and we walked single file. We began to fish around for our snacks and water as Craig and Josh carried fifty pound bags of food. Eventually we arrived at house, it was very small, with a concrete floor, a hammock, and three small rooms. We presented our bag of food, and it is hard to explain exactly what that felt like. It is hard to say, “Here! Be happy! We brought a little food!” Truly, I wanted to cry and apologize that it wasn’t more. I wanted to buy shoes and clothes and beds and whatever else I could and drag it down that path to that house. But, that isn’t an option. It was a small gift, but it does help. I have to remind myself that I can’t do everything. I have to remind myself that every little bit DOES matter. It truly truly does.
We went on to go a little farther down the path to one more house. Our walk to Nicaragua was a vessel for thinking about what delivering food means and looks like. I thought a lot about the throwing back a starfish story, helping one starfish and helping one family can and does make a difference. The day my group walked to Nicaragua we handed out 10 bags of food, and others in group passed out 10 bags per day for the next two days. It may not be a new house, or food for life, or a long term help. But I have to remind myself that we did bring food to 30 houses, and that means something. The walk to Nicaragua represents to me a change in thought. I need to focus on what I can do today to help someone, not that I am unable change their lives forever.