Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Classmate Jackie from Fort Lauderdale High School, Class of 66 put me in touch with the daughter of a friend of hers. Regan and I emailed this past year and she spoke with her children’s school about helping the poor and indigenous children in our area. The children sold lemonade and the teachers donated and shopped for the children in my area of Costa Rica. Regan and her husband John came for a visit bringing gifts.

This morning we got up, ate breakfast and headed to the farm with our houseguests. I had planned to bring a gift to the indigenous, who live across the river from our farm and today was the day. I put a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread, lollipops, crayons, pencils, pencil sharpener, a pad of ruled paper, and some coloring books into a new bright purple satchel that was donated along with school supplies from Jennifer Hays, Tonya, and Kara at the Primrose School in Lawrenceville, Georgia. My houseguest, Regan and I took the Rhino and went down to the river, near the footbridge, with our gift. This time was different from all of the other times; they did not all hide from me. Airminnia, a lovely young indigenous mother of 4 or 5 little children came forward and walked across the rickety bridge to greet Regan. She spoke Spanish and accepted our gift as I took photos. One little success at a time; today was a really good day. Perhaps the indigenous man that I gave a ride to last week told her about me as Airminnia’s casita was his destination for the day.

If you have not been to a third world or developing world destination point, you can not imagine the impact that small acts of kindness can make. If your vacations are to all inclusive resorts, you are missing the blessings that await us all. Simple pleasures, beautiful smiles, momentary friendships that mean something and the best part is that you are the one who also benefits from that act of kindness as well as the recipient. That little bag of donated goodies was huge for Airminnia and her family, it may have been the biggest gift they have ever received; it may have been the only gift so far.

Last week an indigenous man came down from the mountain, someone was very ill. Because our farm manager now has a cell phone, Marcos was able to make a phone call and a very old Viet Nam vintage helicopter swooped in, landed and picked up a very ill indigenous man. We are the closest communication point and saved him several hours more foot travel to get help. It had already taken him 8 hours to get to us. Small acts of kindness can change and save lives.

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