December 12, 2009

Darn, I'm a Gringa

Today we visited a peanut butter factory.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to see the factory b/c the workers were participating in some kind of conference.  Anyway, across the street from the peanut factory was a familiar scene.  Several dust-covered kids eating raw squash in the dirt and in the hammocks, a hut-like brick and palm leaf home, chickens and malnourished dogs, litter strewn about, and so on.  

I've seen the scene many times, but it still takes me aback.  How can I live so differently than they?  How can we be sharing the same Earth?  How can we both be human, yet live such different lives?  It's perplexing and incredibly humbling.  I could never live under those circumstances without being absolutely miserable...that's the honest truth, but I wish I didn't feel that way.

Our friend (the one waving) went to chat, so I felt like I had an excuse to take a picture, but then I felt guilty...guilty for making a spectacle of the way they live.  It's just I want the world to see how people live...but a picture can't do it justice.  You have to have the smell, the social discomfort, the oppressive heat to really understand...

"Those kids feel inferior," said the 19-yr-old Mexicano with our group.  "That's how I felt when I was a kid.  I thought people of other races were better than me, especially Americans...that's how I think those kids are feeling right now..."  I just listened to him, wishing I could hide my big fancy camera and change the color of my skin...

I'm that rich white matter how poor I may be according to American standards...Lord, how can I humble myself and show them that I'm no better...I'm less, in fact!  Lord, transform my mind to think of these people as better than myself!  Make me poor (oh, wait, please don't!)...I mean, yes!  I want to be humble in spirit like them...I don't want to be the snobby American...yet I'm so attached to my lifestyle, I don't know if I could change...ah! the inner struggle...humble me, help me, make me a servant to the poor.


  1. Emily! This is AMAZING! Im home Anthonys working on this Valentine's Day Eve and Im completely going through your page (just so you know im totally stalking you right now haha!) There has always been a part of me that has wanted to experience exactly what you are and I tip my hat. As i sit here is my cozy home it makes me cry to think of what i take for granted on a daily basis...

  2. I'm stalking you love reading your different blogs....My heart cry is like all gets muddled sometimes by all this stuff that you see everyday here in America...I just finished reading the books, Crazy Love and Radical.......I don't want to be the same person that I have been...Yes, I have had a wonderful relationship with Jesus since I was a young teenager, but I want Him more and more and I don't want any of my stuff to matter to me, and I want Him to humble me and to love the least of these in a real, concrete way. Pray for me as I begin this journey and that I will hear my Lord and listen!!!!!


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