Drinkable water, straight from the tap. Private bathrooms to do our “business.” Sanitary kitchens where we can prepare food without breathing in smoke from an open fire.
I’d say these are three things a vast majority of Americans take for granted. Shoot, we don’t just forget that we have access to these necessities—we actually complain about them, about how much better they could be.
- Does our water taste good enough? Does it need a “flavor enhancer”?
- Do we avoid gas station bathrooms, even though they have walls, a locking door, toilet paper and a sink?
- How many home owners clamor for the brightest and shiniest new kitchen appliances … as if having the latest model will help us eat better?
These are the things running rampant through my mind as I pack for 12 days in Guatemala, where I’m fortunate enough to get to visit some very remote villages, where the things we take for granted every day in U.S. are a luxury in the Central Highlands.
Up-close exposure to third-world conditions is good for us, helps to put things in perspective. Of course, we can find those mindset-altering encounters without leaving home, too.
A friend took a taxi ride near Sacramento the other day, and his driver, an immigrant from Ukraine, talked about how “America is the best place on earth,” and how shocking it is to him that we complain so much! Those brief encounters should act as a reset button on the traps we’ve secured in our mindsets.
I’m sure my experience in Guatemala will have a library’s worth of good lessons and reminders for me, even if I get bed bugs or eaten by mosquitoes. Check back with WordsnCoffee or Providence Health International’s Facebook page throughout the week for glimpses if you’re interested. And while you’re reading, enjoy your water. 🙂