I was here

Kuna Front Porch


“I wanna do something that matters
Say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear
Wanna do something better
With the time I’ve been given
I wanna try
To touch a few hearts in this life
And leave nothing less than something that says
I was here”

-Lady Antebellum

While I upload the pictures from today’s adventures and hear this song playing in the background, I can’t help but here the incredible truth in this song. I do want to leave my mark somehow, during the short time I’m here.

I began my trip to Panama without much vision or idea about exactly what would be involved. I thought I would hear some sad stories, get a little sweaty, a little dirty, and then I’d go home and not change much at all, with the exception of gaining some spanish-speaking experience. The longer I’m here, I’m seeing this trip differently than I first did. We’re are a little more than halfway through our trip here. Part of me is excited to be back at home and see my family, friends and my dog! 🙂 And yet, there is a part of me that feels guilty for leaving. Village after village, what we continue to hear is the dire need for help from these people, and yet also a distrust that we are going to actually followup with our promises. Some tribes don’t even want us to come in because they believe we just want to take a couple pictures and then leave, never to return or be heard from again. I really don’t want to be that for these people. I want to make a difference in their lives, however small that might be.

And then I wonder… Will I still feel so convicted, once I’m back in my own comforts of home? Am I so hypocritical that I’ve come here and seen how awful the living conditions are here, and how badly they need me and others like me who have so much to give just a little, and yet I’d still go back home and essentially forget them as so many people have doe?

The children in these villages touch me more than anything else. So many smiling faces despite their desperate conditions. The first little boy that we interviewed today had a tumor on his face that took the place of one of his eyes. He was so pitiful that it was hard to look at. His family can’t afford to fix that, and so he will live out his life in that way, unless they can get help to get to the right doctors to fix it.

Juan David

And with each house we went to, another child, another disease. Every house was sad, the living conditions were just terrible, and the heat and humidity were almost unbearable. Poor pitiful me, right? I had to deal with these problems for a few hours, and these people live like this day after day.


Tomorrow we’re taking a break from interviews and going for a ride ont he Panama Canal. I think my emotions could use the break!




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