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Why I Might Eat a Guinea Pig — How to Put Your Problems In Perspective

I didn’t realize how my humanitarian trip (The Hope Alliance) would focus my sight. On our vision improvement trip I expected to help Peruvians see, yeah.

But I didn’t expect the goosebumps. I confess, I thought my rudimentary Spanish would wow all, but at the first torrent of Spanish my brain overheated. I blinked in surprise at my pathetic, “Ummm …” (Thinking — this is NOT Spanish, is it?!?) Just then the Bilingual Goddess, Jill (a veteran of … count them … FIVE … humanitarian trips) stepped in and saved my butt. Basic deer-in-the-headlights panic lurked all day as I learned 8 jobs.

Fortunately, the second day my brain awoke, boo-yah! After an Indiana Jonesish bus ride, through mud and two worrisome streams, I helped an 87-year-old woman at our airy clinic.

She could barely walk and barely see. She grinned from ear to ear when she received her glasses. That’s how I found out she only had one tooth. Her beautiful one-toothed smile gave me goosebumps.

And so did the group of Peruvians that hiked six hours uphill to seek vision help. Their joy at receiving glasses fed my soul.

Also, Utah optometrist, Dr. Bill Harrison, diagnosed a woman with untreated, end-stage glaucoma. She was days away from blindness.

He referred her for eye drops and immediate surgery. Just imagine her after surgery and seeing clearly. The goosebumby thought of this alone makes my trip oh-so-worth -it.

So with 2.5 days of clinic behind us, and 1000+ pairs of glasses dispensed, I’m thinking that my problems in America don’t matter all that much.

I’m currently on a 6-hour bus ride via uphill dirt road, which is bouncing me toward another day of adventure.

I have new appreciation for my vision, the neon orange sunset, the mountain waterfall in a city where it rarely rains. I’m grateful that I can see without an epic hike or worse, the malignant menace of unexpected blindness.

Its like my eyes are thirsty; I’m drinking in beautiful sights.

And I’m seizing every moment, which is why I might ramp up this experience and brave the local delicacy … guinea pig. Do you think I should live this adventure fully? Please comment, like and share…

About the Author

Kendeyl Johansen has a background as a Systems Analyst and B.S. degree in Behavioral Science and Health. She’s an award-winning journalist with 200+ published articles, including work in New York Times bestsellers. She serves as Webmaster for several volunteer websites and cherishes time with friends and family. Her hobbies include writing, reading and skiing both on water and snow.

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