About Me

My photo
Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Joy like water

This past spring I spent two weeks in the Dominican Republic helping to build a drinking water system in a rural, organic cocoa-farming community. It was a life-changing experience, but we had some pipes burst when we first turned the water on, and it took so long to fix the pipes that the group I was volunteering with ended up having to leave before the village we were staying in turned on their water taps, so we did not get to see the reaction of our hosts to having running water.

The pipes were fixed this summer, but I did not feel a sense of closure on the project until I received this photo, first thing this morning:

Followed by this photo:

Aren't they pure joy? Seeing these women, who welcomed us into their homes with such contentment on their faces gives me more joy than I felt the entire trip, and that is saying something, because I had a sublime two weeks in the Dominican Republic. When we left, the main satisfaction I felt was my own -- knowing that I had contributed to the process of making sure that the cocoa farmers would have clean drinking water. Knowing I had done my best. And of course the sheer enjoyment of the process of all that hard physical work we did, the incredible landscapes, and getting to know the local communities and my fellow volunteers. It was satisfying, but the satisfaction was all on a personal level.

Seeing these photographs is satisfying on a whole different level. This was the reason we went. To contribute to improving the quality of life for the people who produce the delicious cocoa that we all love so. People who welcomed us into their homes, and made us feel so much a part of the community while we were in La Laguna. Seeing their joy completes the circle. Contributing to the happiness of others really is the best, isn't it?

Wishing you a lovely Thursday, friends!  

No comments:

Post a Comment