Barefoot for a week: calluses, smells--the whole kaboodle. One part solidarity, many parts change-making. Help me out?
So, we're going barefoot for a week. Why? Because it's weird, and it makes people look. And hopefully, makes people (a LOT of people) think it's worth giving $13 dollars to feed a child for a month. Need more convincing?
The Feeding Center: After hastily showering ninety plates of rice and beans with shredded cheese and haphazardly passing the plates out to hungry stomachs with wide smiles, I sat down and stretched my pasty legs out in front of me. I looked to the woman sitting beside me and contemplated whether I wanted to begin The Conversation: the one where I ask her name, she asks mine, and then I fumble with verb tenses until she starts to wish that some other gringo would’ve talked to her. Taking the plunge, I talked with Isabel about her two younger brothers, her two daughters, her desperate desire to provide for them (despite the fact that “[Eres] sola”). I soon became deeply aware of a common theme lacing all of my interactions in this country. “Perdón,” I interrupted, continuing with as much candor and passion as I could in my broken Spanish: Her plight was significant—nothing to be diminished. What she must realize, however, is that different countries hold their riches in different places. What she had, what abounded in her, was something that America lacks in so many arenas: love, amor. She was immeasurably rich in that quality which no material good can provide, and so she could greet each day with a smile and impetus to hope. This is Isabel—this is Nicaragua.
Cut--this is America, this is you. You have resources that Isabel doesn't have, resources that I don't have. It's not only for Isabel's benefit that I ask, though; no, I'm asking for you, too. See, if you give, that actually creates more space in your heart to be able to receive the blessings that will come from enriching another's life. It's a simple idea, but so rare that it often takes contemplation. The only reason that I can vouch for its validity is because my heart has been expanded and empowered by these blessings. Make space--make a difference.