johan and shoes

I woke up as usual at 6:30, feeling well rested and excited for what the day will result in. For breakfast I have noodles with three eggs made over my fire, today it is strikingly beautiful and clear weather, so I’m enjoying this moment as I watch the sun rise over the mountains and begin to warm the day.


My new camping friends from Belgium, Germany, Holland and India awake also. It’s nice to have neighbors!

Today I hope to speed up construction, and that Shyam arrives at the village with shoes, sweaters/jackets and socks for the children. They should have arrived yesterday, but did not. The truck that Shyam was driving ran out of fuel, so they had to stay overnight in the truck. They should be here soon.

To my great disappointment only three workers show up today. In addition to there being two weddings in the village this week, there has also a death in the family of some of the workers.


So no bricklayers have arrived today either. It is frustrating to see the days go by without any major progress done on Home of Hope. Shyam is coming so that will mean five people working today including myself. We are working to prepare as much as possible for tomorrow by mixing sand, cutting stones, cleaning and sorting materials, and building molds throughout the day. My Indian friends take a moment to help and carry rocks, thanks so much!

The shirts and shoes are now at the school. Because of all the weddings and deaths in the village, there are not as many kids in school today. We decide to wait until tomorrow at 10:30 to hand out the clothes to the children, that way all of the kids will be there. One of the teachers and I go to look at the clothes, he is so happy with the purchases. He mentioned several times how good they are and how happy he is, you can really feel his gratitude.

I’ve been thinking about some of the cultural differences, this project, that hasn’t been so easy, and how they both have changed and affected me. It’s hard for me to say myself how it’s changed me, but some things are clearer. I’m thinking more about our society and that I appreciate some things a lot more now. As we have clean drinking water, electricity, the internet works and is fast, that we are hygienic, we have heat. We can even just go and buy the food we want, we have toilets, great roads, we need not be afraid of natural disasters, we are living in a tremendously rich country where we have it so well. All these things I have more or less taken for granted, but I do not anymore! I am much more humble and appreciative of life. I have a greater tolerance towards different people, but now have less tolerance for people who whine over “luxury problems”. I have realized that life in harmony with nature is more important than we think and I’ll prioritize it more. I have become less materialistic, and learned that happiness does not come from material things.

I also realized that helping people who are less fortunate and suffering more than us, and seeing genuine gratitude is hugely meaningful and can provide lots of energy and joy back!

Now it’s pitch black outside and my fire is going out, the dogs are barking in the distance. A pair of wedding parties are going on, as you can hear them dancing and singing. It starts to get cold, so it’s time to crawl into my sleeping bag.

Thanks for today, and I look forward to seeing many happy children with new shoes and sweaters/jackets tomorrow. Thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to share this joy tomorrow!



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