CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF SENIOR LIVING
Many years ago when my wife, Jan, and I were newly married, we sailed on a humanitarian aid ship from the U.S. to Central America. Along the way, we ended up with a crew that was split primarily from Guatemala and the U.S. with a few from Germany, Canada and Mexico, etc. The Guatemalan crew was fun to work with, possessing a wonderful spirit and a willingness to go the extra mile. In short, they made very strong impressions on the two of us and everyone else as well. When we parted, it was with sincere regret since we would most likely never see them again. In fact, one died on a future trip. His last words to us at the docks in Galveston, Texas were to not forget him. Vinicio, how can we forget you?
Jan and I had the chance to take a few chicken busses off the beaten pathways and away from the tourist meccas in Guatemala. Here, we met with the folks in the highlands of this beautiful country. We were greeted with pleasure everywhere we went. Our hobbled Spanish/shipboard Guatemalan/German polyglot served only to ensure that there were many giggles and much fun on both sides of the language barrier.
It has been enjoyable to find past crewmembers on Facebook. It is always a joy to find them. Those young men and women that we knew at age 18 are now fathers, mothers, and businessmen (and women) who are sending their children into the world. It is rewarding to hear about their lives in Guatemala.
You can take a cookie cutter vacation and have a cookie cutter experience. Or you can challenge yourself and set the “vacation” bar to a higher level, leaving you with an experience that will enrich your soul, warm your heart and leave ripples for those you care for, teach and help.
Because I have warm feelings for Guatemala and because I think that there are many of you (or perhaps your parents) who have amazing talents that can be shared some more, I offer you this link.
Whether you volunteer for an organization like The Global Volunteer Network or an organization around the corner, you will be rewarded by what you give out in return. From my experience, you’ll get more back than you have given!
Take a few moments and meander through the GVN website.