Monday, September 6, 2010

Semana de Pobreza - Day 1...

Reflections on “Poverty Week” at El Pozo:

Monday – A Day Without Electricity/Electronics…

Today we challenged our students and ourselves to go an entire day without using anything that requires electricity or batteries. So no iPods, cell phones, laptops or other computers, radios, cameras, lights, microwaves, etc. I participated, and here are some thoughts about how it went.

The day began with no alarm, but of course we don’t really set alarms that much any more because we have a little human alarm who wakes us up pretty early every day.
The morning time was relatively un“productive”, but good. I spent some fun play time with Erin and Elsa and then did get a little reading done before heading to work. Breakfast was cereal instead of the waffles I wanted to pop in the toaster.

Went to work and felt freed up to do some stuff I maybe wouldn’t have normally done, such as prime the pump to help fix a little water issue we’re having and take the initiative to fix a couple of drawer handles in the kitchen.

Then I ran an errand (cell phone stuff and Home Depot stop) for the ministry. It was weird not having the radio or iPod on in the car, but it made for good conversation and honestly was a nice break from “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, “Do You Know The Muffin Man?”, and other such toddler jams that we’ve been rocking lately.

Spent the first part of the afternoon just reading. It was great because I didn’t have my laptop there calling out to me every few minutes to check email or whatever. Got a good bit of reading done.

Went to lunch by myself – well, my book and me – and kept on reading. Very relaxing.

Then after lunch I found it was much easier to break away from the campus house and GET ON CAMPUS. I went to play a little bball and flag football and stayed to kill some time before an intramural captain’s meeting. In the process I ran into a LOT of students. This always happens when I just cross the road and get on campus! Today it was a great mix of several El Pozo regulars, several folks I haven’t seen in a LOOOOONG time, several UDLA coaches and staff, and several new guys I met playing pickup basketball.

After the meeting I walked home and arrived to a totally dark house with two beautiful ladies sound asleep upstairs. I had another bowl of cereal (once again I would have loved something warm), which was complimented by cold milk from our electric fridge. We didn’t go so far as to unplug that.

All in all I made it 22 hours before deciding to sit down and bang out some thoughts on the day before I get too tired. I slipped up once – accidentally called my brother at one point – and “cheated” once – sent a semi-urgent ministry related email mid-day (but didn’t look at my inbox or anything).

I realized today that it’s extra-difficult to turn off my cell phone when I’m away from Erin and especially Elsita. But I also realized that most of the emails and texts I send every day out are not nearly as urgent as I tend to think they are.

I missed music but enjoyed the times of relative silence.

I actually got some exercise.

I did indeed reflect a good bit on the millions of people who live in poverty and go without these gadgets and gizmos that we call “necessities” every day, not by choice.

I won’t say that I felt closer to God today, but I definitely felt at least AS close to God as on any other typical day. This was probably in part because the daily devo book I’m using (and LOVING – “Grace Notes” by Yancey) is the Kindle version and therefore couldn’t be accessed…

Overall verdict: Great day. I’m curious to see how it went for the others who participated. I hope some actually did!

Tomorrow: A Day Without Money – trying to go a whole day without spending more than 25 pesos (about two bucks) because that’s what HALF of the world’s population does every day – again, not by choice. Being the nerd that I am, I think I’ll spend a couple of minutes planning out a mini-budget before I catch some Zs.

Night night!

“He who works his land will have abundant food,
but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
A faithful man will be richly blessed,
but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” – Proverbs 28:19-20

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