It's been a week since I arrived home from Ecuador, tired after a long day of travel but feeling totally exhilarated. Below are just a few thoughts that have occurred to me over the past week as I've had some time to reflect on my trip from both a personal and a professional basis. Some are lessons learned, others are just observations.
1. Canada can be an isolating place. We are much less likely to speak to a stranger (or even a neighbour.) I miss living life with people - the colleagues who became friends, the fellow travelers on journeys of their own, and all of the wonderful Ecuadorian people we met along the way.
2. Be bold. Put yourself out there. Try something new. Take chances. Live out loud. You won't regret it.
3. We make our lives way too complicated in Canada. Just enjoy and embrace simplicity.
4. The solutions to "stupid" poverty do not always have to be difficult or expensive.
5. The poor are not below us and they are not waiting for a handout. They are simply fellow human beings trying to get by, just like you and me.
6. Silence, and the silence of nature is an amazing thing. My life in Canada is way too loud.
7. Satan controls institutional religion and keeps people living in darkness and fear. More Jesus, less religions tradition.
8. "They" are poor in material things. "We" are poor in freedom and joy.
9. Spiritual forces are far closer to the surface outside of North America. We just don't pay attention here.
10. When you see what a difference a little help makes, how can you not give more?