Estela and me. We spent most of the day together talking about the current needs of Anapra, buying prizes for kids with good grades and things for back to school.

Yesterday was another busy day – one I will split into two posts. Tomorrow you will hear about another yummy meal and see some great photos from our night visit to a park overlooking the city of El Paso and Juarez. But for now, I just want to reflect a little bit about our trip down here.

I get this feeling, when I am in a place like this, that I have a choice. I can either come to a place, hear about how other people live, reflect on how difficult some of the situations are and then walk away. Or I can really let it sink in and keep these people with me when I go – thinking of them, learning about their lives, writing letters to them, sponsoring their children in school, etc. It’s really easy to make the first choice, getting so wrapped up in all the little details and dramas of my own life and make myself as comfortable as I can. That, to me, seems like the choice I need to fight off everyday.

It can also be easy, especially for me, to get pulled into so many directions of need that I get distracted. The drought in the Horn of Africa, the 884 million people who lack access to clean water in the world, children who aren’t receiving a decent education, immigration, women who lack the resources to leave their abusers and nations at war – to name a few. My mind holds all of this and tries to decide what my priorities should be. I read articles and try to keep up with what the world is facing but it sometimes gets overwhelming. I tell myself it’s better to start somewhere than nowhere.

I can’t start to imagine how things are in Anapra daily, like the fear of nearby violence in Juarez, the concern about how much rain will fall and if the roof will hold for another season or if your job will last much longer knowing that there aren’t any other possibilities available. We are left to listen, offer what we have to share for resources and make life a little better for both of us by building a community. I feel like a stranger to most of the people we met this week but it definitely doesn’t have to stay that way. Thanks for checking in!

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