Updated: Jan 3, 2022
I had no idea what World Awareness Week was going to look like going into it, but I can honestly say, it was very eye opening and humbling. This week we practiced living in poverty. This meant that from Monday-Friday, the only meals we ate consisted of rice and beans, we had no running water, the power would randomly go out, and at one point we didn't have mattresses. While this doesn't exactly sound fun, it actually caused me to grow a lot, and by the end of the week I really appreciated everything I have a lot more.
I always knew that not everyone had the privileges I do, but I didn't exactly understand that until I had to run outside in the cold to a spigot and fill giant pots of water just so I could do dishes. I even learned to appreciate forks and spoons as we ate without utensils the entire week. In some countries, it's just a common practice to eat with your hands, but having grown up where my hands stay clean while I eat made me really miss having utensils. However, there was probably one thing that I was missing more than anything.
If any of you know my dad, you know that he's been a plumber for years. I can remember asking him to let me go on service calls with him, so that I could make a little money (it also made me feel grown up). Usually he just had me hand him tools, and occasionally I would cut a pipe or something, but one day that all changed. We had to take out an old water heater, and put in a new one. That's not so hard, until you add in a few flights of stairs. I hated every second of moving those water heaters, and then at the end of the day when we were on our way home, he got another call. Surprise! Another water heater needed taken out. This day made me hate water heaters. Every time I've seen one in the past five years, I just have not enjoyed them at all. However, when you're standing in the shower, in the dark, with just a flashlight, your soap, and a bucket full of cold water, you learn to love water heaters.
All this goes to say, I learned a lot this week, and if the hunger pains, coldness, and discomfort I felt helped me relate to others in any way, it was worth it. Take time to be thankful this week for what you have, because there's so many who will never get to even see a glimpse of what most Americans take for granted.