PASEO Program Adventure- Day 12: Trujillo, Peru

This whole lack of a cell phone thing really got me wondering why our society places such a large emphasis on electronics and non-verbal communication. Text messaging instead of phone calls, following people on social media sites instead of maintaining active communication, ignoring one another at the dinner table to “talk” to others via cell phones instead, and the infamous “let me take a picture of this so I can capture the moment.” When you don’t have a phone in front of you to partake in these actions, the only thing you really have is time to sit and think about all of it.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s sad to think that so many pictures and videos are lost, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are—pictures and videos. The memories will always remain. (Yes, I’ve been told numerous times that I should have backed everything up on the cloud, but seeing as I’m not the most tech-savy person out there, the only thing I know about the cloud is that it’s what the weather forecaster speaks about whenever providing inaccurate weather forecasts). And in case you were wondering, no, my sense of humor hasn’t improved since losing my phone.

But really think about it. Everyone is trying to capture the moment we are currently living in, but are we really capturing the moment by snapping a picture? Of course you can look back years from now and enjoy the tangible object you have in your hand, but if we’re so focused on “capturing the moment,” we may lose out on actually living in and enjoying the moment. And that would be the biggest loss of all.

Maybe this is me trying to rationalize not having a cell phone at the moment and trying to look on the bright side, but I do hope that the day will come where we can stop relying on electronics to communicate with others while distancing ourselves from those around us, stop using emojis to describe how we’re feeling, and stop trying to preserve the moment we are currently in. When you take the time to think about it, each of the aforementioned actions only cause us to miss out on so many incredible memories that could be made all while doing so.

Yes, even though I’m sitting here writing about the challenges of communication in an era of technology, I still went out and purchased a Peruvian cell phone this evening in order to communicate with others. However, there is still something to be learned, seeing as so many of us are guilty on missing out on the current moment every time we try to “capture” the moment as best as we can. And as a side note, since the quality of the camera is subpar, I’ll leave you with a blank canvas to paint your own picture.

Running For A Cause: Part 2

As mentioned yesterday, this upcoming Sunday, January 24th, I’ll be running in the Miami Half Marathon to raise money and awareness for Misioneros Del Camino—a home for orphaned, abandoned, and malnourished children in Guatemala. Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be writing about Misioneros Del Camino and sharing the incredible background story of one brave woman’s calling from above to make a difference, as well as various success stories of some of the many children who grew up at MDC.

In 2000, a generous Guatemalan businessman helped Misioneros Del Camino open a school on site. The elementary school, Sagrado Corazon School has since provided a free education, in addition to uniforms, school supplies, and transportation for children from the surrounding areas. Not only do the children at MDC get to receive a quality education, but children from neighboring cities are able to attend the school for free and enjoy what so many of us forget is not always available to everyone across the globe, as we tend to take it for granted—an education.

Last week marked the beginning of a new school year at the Home. Pictured below are a few of the children on their way to class. For some of them, this will be the first time they will be exposed to school, but by the looks of it, they could not be any more excited to begin learning!

In honor of the work Mami Leo has done, in continuing her legacy, and to help provide a bright future to the current generation of children at Misioneros Del Camino, I am running in this week’s Miami Marathon. If you would like to help contribute to this incredible cause so that we can help fulfill Mami Leo’s mission, please feel free to click on the below link. And if you would like to learn more about Misioneros Del Camino, please feel free to clink on the bottom link. 


Simple Quote Sunday

“The only way to peace is forgiveness. To accept and give forgiveness makes possible a new quality of rapport between men, interrupts the spiral of hatred and revenge, and breaks the chains of evil which bind the hearts of rivals.” -Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

A Memorable Experience of Disfuncionado

I recently came back from a medical mission trip to Guatemala, and let me say, it definitely didn’t disappoint! This was my fourth time going back since 2009, and it was a blast! Medical missionary trips provide some of life’s best experiences, and I am fortunate enough to have been able to attend this past mission, which will forever leave an imprint in my mind. We worked in a poverty and disease stricken city called Sumpango, and turned a church into a makeshift clinic, providing medical care to people who either haven’t received medical care in years, or haven’t received medical care at all throughout their lives. I was assigned to work in Triage, which was the first place the people came upon signing in outside and waiting in line. The rest of the triage team and I took people’s blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and wrote down their basic information as well as what was wrong with them. We then assigned them to a doctor and escorted them to that part of the clinic. If there is one thing that I have realized from spending time in Guatemala these past few years, it is that Guatemalans, especially from Sumpango, are some of the most humble, kindest people you will ever meet. So as the day progressed, I met incredible people who constantly thanked me, even though I was merely taking down their information. “Muchas gracias doctor” was a common phrase I got used to even though I wasn’t a doctor; but hey, I wasn’t going to correct them. This was the one time I could let me ego boost up a little bit, so I gladly accepted being called doctor.

After having taken down the information of quite a few people, the next man in line came in our tented area and sat down next to me. I began conversing with him, wrote down his name and age, and asked him what brought him in; what was wrong with him. “Tengo disfuncionado,” he said, meaning “I have dysfunction.” Since people had been waiting in line outside for hours to see us, I had set up my own table to see extra people so we could hurry things along, before this man walked in. By no means am I fluent in Spanish, but I was doing pretty well working alone and whenever I needed something translated, I would just ask fellow volunteers around me. I thought maybe dysfunction was a type of disease or illness specific to this town, so I called over someone from my trip to find out what was wrong with this man. “Qué paso,” she asked. “Como estás?” “Tengo disfuncionado,” he replied again, in a low voice. She took a few seconds to think about it and responded with “Tienes una esposa? He answered this question of whether he has a wife with “Si.” She then asked, “Quieres tener divertido con tu esposa?” meaning, do you want to have fun with your wife? The man’s face lit up as if it were Christmas morning and he let out a happy “SI!” It turns out that this whole time he was talking about erectile disfunction, and seeing the look on his face upon giving him the medication he requested was beyond priceless, showing us not to take things in life for granted. Of course this was one of the most minor cases we saw, but it was definitely a memorable one.

A while later, in walked an 82-year-old lady who had been having troubles with her eyesight. She mentioned that is was beyond difficult for her to see, as things had been blurry to her for quite some time. We handed her a pair of prescribed glasses that had been in one of the duffel bags next to us, and when she put them on, she shed a tear. Being able to see clearly was such an amazing feeling for this woman, and seeing the joy that we were able to bring to her was one of the most rewarding feelings one could have.

By the end of the trip, we saw over one thousand patients, with various illnesses, and truly made a difference in the city of Sumpango. More stories from this trip are yet to come, but for now, I’d like everyone to take away one thing from this post. Don’t take what you have in life for granted. Not everyone is as fortunate as we are, so truly cherish what you have and those around you. Some of life’s simplest items such as glasses and sight are overlooked each and every day, but if we learn to appreciate all that we have, you’ll notice that the quality of your life will improve immensely.

The elderly lady in the middle is the one who received prescription glasses, thus improving her vision for plenty of time to come.