Today we were invited to help Veronica and some of the Manos de Amor children with a task they do 3 times a week. We have told Veronica to assign us tasks that will make her life easier and this is one she has chosen for us. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday she takes a few children in the late afternoon and heads to Vallarta Adventures, a tour and excursion company that takes tourists out on crazy adventures. Every day, Vallarta Adventures piles people on boats or in open jeeps and take them snorkeling, sailing, whale watching, scuba diving, zip lining, touring tequila factories, hiking, horseback riding, and pretty much anything a tourist is willing to pay to experience. They are really a top-quality company – and today I found out they are also a generous company.
Most of the tours they offer provide lunch, which means lots of leftovers – and Manos de Amor is fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of the excess food that returns to the Vallarta Adventures office in Nuevo Vallarta each afternoon.
Today was our training day. Veronica showed us how to fill plastic tubs and plastic bags with chicken, rice, turkey, salad, vegetables, buns and soup. It looked delicious and I would be lying if I said we packed it away without sampling a bite or two. The children worked hard, filling bags and carrying empty trays to the kitchen. But what was most impressive to me was the final destination of all of this food. Much of it of course was for the children at Casa Hogar. Veronica packed up enough food for them for tomorrow’s meals. Then she packed up many more bags to give to the women who work at the home and to the many poor neighbors who live in the streets surrounding the orphanage. She encouraged me to fill two large bags to deliver to our family in San Vicente. In the midst of receiving a blessing, she became a blessing.
I love that instead of filling the freezer and hoarding supplies, Veronica is teaching the children to share what they have with others who need help. To share. I know that we are super fortunate to have social programs in Canada that seek to care for the marginalized in our country. And let’s face it, it makes me feel less responsible or compelled to help when I know our government will provide. But that’s pretty much a crappy attitude. What if we all just shared our excess with others? Sometimes I go to Safeway and buy 3 or 4 tubs of Peanut Butter or 72 rolls of paper towel or a case of soup because hey, look at all the Air Miles! And then I stock my pantry and it sits there until I spill enough stuff to need 72 rolls of paper towel or make enough toast to eat 8 litres of peanut butter. I don’t even really like soup. What would happen in our world if we kept enough for tomorrow, or even for next week and gave the rest away? What if we were to share what we don’t need with those who don’t know how to face an empty tomorrow? Instead of implementing more government social programs to fight poverty, what if we, who have so darn much, just gave away our stuff? What if finally just learned how to share? Another day of being humbled by Mexico and learning a new way to live.