Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Twelve dates of Christmas: One our second date of Christmas...

...We put together Christmas packages for some dear friends in Brazil. Sometimes I still can't believe that we were able to go on that trip. I also can't believe nearly one whole year has passed since then. When I think about all the incredible, inspiring, and sometimes horrifying things we saw, I am reminded of how lucky I am. But nothing tops the people that we met. I am forever humbled by the love and friendship we encountered while there. My memories of those sweet people will be with me forever and I hope we get to see them again. In the meantime, we send them our love with things like peanut butter.

One quick memory: Jailson took us to his home, and Brad told me that he lived in a really nice place which was more or less near a favela (shanty-town) but not in a favela. When we drove onto the bumpy dirt road leading to his building, I could see that his apartment was set aside from the dense favela and away from the main traffic road. However, my perception of the neighborhood didn't fully convince me that we were in a really nice place.
Jailson, with a fair amount of pride, gestured to a stray donkey grazing in the tall weeds and said "see, even the donkey thinks it's peaceful here." It was as if he had said, this place is so wonderful it is even good enough for donkeys. But all I could see was that a stray donkey was grazing on weeds in what was supposed to be a really nice place! My perception of the world as I saw it and my perception of the world as it really was received a huge wake up call that day.

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