Coming Home

It’s early morning and I’m back in Canada.  I’m so tired, but I think it is more of an emotional tired than physical.  Even though the flight home was long – one flight taking 19 1/2 hours – along with several 2 hour flights on top –  my mind keeps on seeing images from Bangladesh and I must admit that they are difficult to “resee”. 

Karl found me crying this morning while I tried to eat my breakfast.  I think that while I was in Bangladesh I only cried a couple times because everything around us was “the norm”  Now that I am home, the images I see in my mind are in such a contrast to what I see here at home that it is all the more difficult to see them again.

Like the boy who was laying naked on the street.  He was probably around my son’s age.  Perhaps a bit younger.  Turn the tables.  Make him your own child and see how you react.  It becomes even more painful, doesn’t it?

If there is anything that I have learned from this trip, it is that if I am truly to understand and have true compassion for these people, I must remember that each child is a child like my own.   He or she has the same needs, the need for love, for compassion and for hope in a good future. 

I often wonder if we cope with seeing  the images on t.v. by distancing ourselves from the problem – and the children and families who are affected by the problem.  We think: they aren’t our children, we don’t know them, the world is full of children who suffer like these, what can I do about it?   However, when we do this we deny ourselves the opportunity to feel true compassion and in turn do something to change it.   As difficult as it is to “turn the tables” in our mind, the sense of goodness and fulfillment when we are instruments in making a positve change powerfully overcomes this feeling of despair.

And that is what I must set out to do from this day forward.  I must allow myself moments in which I “turn the tables” and make each child my own.  But in doing so I must also remember that I am capable of creating change in their lives. 

Could you also do the same?

Houses along side of the railway track

A common sight - heavy loads and hard working people.

Taking a break from the noon day sun.

Setting up shop - another new career change.

Thank you for listening today.  I know over the next few days it will take some time for me to adjust.  Tomorrow’s blog will be on a much happier note – I’m looking forward to telling you all about the art and photography show we had to display all of the childrens’ work from the workshops we ran for 5 days.  We had a very wonderful day – and I don’t think I have ever seen such a group of happier children in all of my life.

Until tomorrow…

Donna White

World Vision volunteer


7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    moi said,

    Welcome home, Donna! Looks like your blogging carreer has only started?

  2. 2

    zchristy said,

    Thanks for being so honest, Donna. I worry about a rough “re-entry”.

    It takes courage to feel the pain of “turning the tables”. I’m glad that it has an undercurrent of hope.

    • 3

      mzunga said,

      Thanks for your reply Christy. I must admit that yesterday was a tough day, but after talking to a few people I find that I’m feeling a little better. My husband told me to stop “beating myself up” – I know exactly what he means. And I’ll be working on it. I need to focus on the good things I saw there – the women who have started their own businesses and are improving the lives of their families, the playfulness of the children, the perseverence of the people, the hope that I found around every corner.
      I wish you well on your trip. And I wish you many blessings as you turn the tables, find true compassion and see the wonderful hope that comes from helping children and their families through World Vision.

  3. 4

    Jodi Velasquez said,

    Hello Donna
    We’re so glad that you are home safe and sound. The class and I were fascinated by your blogs. We felt so privileged to be a part of your life overseas during the past few weeks. Your stories sparked SO many discussions about the power of one in our classroom and how each of us has the capacity to be an “agent of change.”
    I agree that we too often try to distance ourselves from the suffering that we see in the world around us. It’s amazing to me (us) that you faced this head-on – the good, the bad and the ugly. We would love to have some further discussion about your experiences in the very near future.

    Thank you for inspiring us and being an incredible role model!
    Jodi Velasquez

    • 5

      mzunga said,

      Hello Jody and all of the students at Crestview!
      Thank you so much for following along with my blog – I’ll still be writing in it every couple of days because I still have so much to share. And thank you for all of your replies – it was great knowing there were people on the other side of the world that were following along. I’m still working on my pictures and hope to have a slide presentation done soon – when it is done I’ll be sure to come by and we can look at it together. I’ll be at the Folk Festival with a World Vision display this weekend so if anyone wants to do the “Passport Around the World” activity I’ll be there…
      See you soon…

  4. 6

    Diane Miller said,

    Hi Donna,
    Amazing pictures, amazing blog. You are right. All too often “we focus on the children we can see or the issues in our own backyard”. There is nothing wrong with that (especially for those who have a heart to help out). I think the challenge is working hard to partner with the “children and adults we don’t see” on a daily basis, but that we have been made aware of, through this blog and through World Vision’s. What a wonderful difference an individual could make if they chose to set outside of their own world and into another’s to help heal their pain.

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