Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Feeling Good Inside and Out

The following is a guest post by Jim Killion. He has an NGO and book about volunteering in Peru. You can read more about him at this post.

If you're thinking of going to Peru, knowing Spanish will help you adapt to the Peruvian culture. If you're looking to learn Spanish, Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

Everybody wants to feel good don´t they? Everybody would like life to be a tad more convenient and manageable and in the shortest amount of time possible. And why not? After all we deserve it.

I was on a visa run to Toronto, Canada in November visiting with some wonderful friends who have supported this project for years now. While staying at their home, I was reacquainted with what has come to be strange to me because my day to day living in the Peruvian Andes is so different. Heated homes for one example. Floors with carpeting. Hot running water and a refrigerator, with food. A bed. Cars that were not 10 years old and beat up. Stores with thousands of choices and restaurants with page after page of options. Those everyday conveniences I had in my first 50 years spent in the U.S. has almost completely vanished from my memory, the impression of Peruvian living in the Andes, over the last 5 years, has replaced every nook and cranny of my thinking.

Every person´s definition of comfort is different. What makes each of us feel really great is also different. A pair of shoes that fit, warm clothing, basic hygienic supplies, soap and shampoo, deodorant and fingernail clippers are normal for most folks in developed countries. Where I live, it is barely a consideration. To have those things, for the children that we reach out to, is a luxury. But it would make them feel really good to have them.

I was able to bring back a few hundred pounds of materials and supplies into Peru for the children thanks to my Toronto friends and many others like them. This is what makes them feel good.

As good as in a fine meal at a nice restaurant or soaking in a Jacuzzi hot tub? No, it is different. It feels good on the inside, in a very special way and in a very special place in your heart. That´s how my friends and our supporters describe it to me. That is how I feel everyday, waking up in an unheated house, solid concrete walls in Huaraz, Peru. A bare light bulb hangs from the ceiling, water may or may not come out of a facet and is cold only. I adjusted, I manage, I never complain because I chose this life to be able to create the project called Changes for New Hope. I never regretted this decision. It is what makes me feel good inside, in that very special place. It is such an overwhelming feeling, the compassion and love in such a dynamic way that I generally forget the minor inconveniences that had replaced my North American life which was very comfortable.

We do what makes us feel good, gives us a sense of purpose and happiness. Some need to find it externally in some form or fashion. Others, a few unique individuals have found that special oasis of peace and tranquility and love deep within themselves by touching the lives of others who need them. Sometimes it is a post card with a message of heartfelt hope. Sometimes it is a box of materials and supplies like the ones I just mentioned. Sometimes it is a visit to help in a hands-on volunteering way. Sometimes it is funds. No matter what manner your heart is sharing, the feeling is incredible. It is real. It does´t end with a hangover, or a breakup text message or the shakes. It is a wonderful feeling of having found a purpose and it does not diminish or fade.

I invite each one of you who may be considering how to feel wonderful, deep within yourself, to try this experience, touch this piece of the world and the children who only want to feel good and share the comfort of your own heart with theirs.

Siempre,
Jim Killon



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