I have always loved new things new humans, new animals, new experiences.
I remember when we went to Guatemala, we went to an orphanage (not the type of orphanage we think of...these children were not for adoption) and volunteered by playing with the residents, feeding them as well as taking them for walks. All of the residents had various disabilities....we met one mother who explained that she has no other choice when her son was born because she works long hours just to feed her other children. There is no help from the government, she had no family that could take care of him while she worked. Her only option was to turn to the church, and this is what the church offered as help. They had a facility for all the children in the same situation. There were babies right up to adults and unless something in their country changes they will live their lives until the end there.
This mother visited her son once a week, it took the whole day, just to get there...visit and get back home. She wished she could visit more, but she could not foresee a future that she could.
The nuns did remark that most of the residents received no visitors and volunteers were their source of enjoyment, because while they themselves do what they can, it is a heavy burden with much work and little time for the extras.
I remember not entering the baby room....which most people at the time would wonder why, since at that time I LOVED babies (and now looking back I do regret not going), but at the time I knew I would just cry 1) because I did love babies and it would break my heart and 2) just weeks before leaving for our trip, I had suffered a miscarriage....and the hurt was too raw and fresh.
I often wonder if I were to go back now, how I would have reacted, if I have grown enough as a person to show the compassion and love those babies deserve...
While I cannot go back there, now anyways, I do try and show compassion and love to those who do not have the privileges I have, a family, who loves me and friends who care.
That experience did not change me right away, but it still impacts me to this day. And I hope for more lessons to grow me further the older I get. And may I never take for granted what I have.