Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New New: The Factors

Hello All! I'm excited to kick of a new feature of The Fresh Factor called, The Factors. I really wanted to make this blog not just about me, but also about the community of stylistas making positive contributions to the world around them. If you know someone making a difference or you're making one yourself, submit the info and tell me all about it! (Submission requirements are after the jump on a page labled "Submit a Feature."

I'm excited to kick off The Factors with a beautiful friend of mine who always looks fantastic! Not only that, but she's making a huge difference in the lives of those who need it! Stephanie of Graded on a Curve wrote a little bit about her experience volunteering in an orphanage in Guatemala. Enjoy!....

There are a few major loves in life.
Love is funny because you discover things, people, quirks that you love in life as you live it. I happened to find one love last June when I traveled to the Casa Angelina Orphanage in Guatemala.

I've felt a pull towards volunteering and doing something with my time and energy that was more than 'just about me'. When I heard that there was an opportunity to get to Guatemala to volunteer, I was determined. Focused, yet scared to be in a new country, partially fluent in Spanglish, a sincere fear of sketchy hotel rooms, I traveled there to do my part.
Somehow my inhibitions to use public bathrooms, eat new foods including meat (I'm pescetarian), and form complete sentences in Spanish faded and I just saw the people. Guatemalans are wonderful. I wanted to drop everything and move there. I wanted to hang out with the kids at the orphanage, roam the streets, finally be fully fluent (!). Most of all, I wanted to help.
I was blown away when the pastors of the church [that supports the orphanage] mentioned the stories of the kids. Something like 90% of them had been sexually abused. Some slept in trees for safety while their mothers sold themselves to feed their families. You'd maybe expect some sort of behavioral problems from them. I often see kids here from broken homes with anger issues, bad tempers, or attention seeking issues. These kids were modest. They were happy and becoming whole again.
My chest felt so heavy for what I could be doing. What am I doing with my life? A question I asked myself too many times while abroad. I have a great family and husband here, but given the right situation and timing, I'd uproot and plant myself right in the green volcanic mountains of Guatemala.
Until I have that freedom, I'm taking the opportunity to visit as often as I can. I want to be part of the lives of the Casa Angelina families. They are remarkable people who love life despite it's horrible beginnings.
I'm going on January 28th. I'm counting down the days, emailing my dear friends there. I've had a few people request to see my flight schedule to make sure that my tickets are in fact round trip. I just smile, and say I'll be back. Part of me will be anyway. A good chunk of me is going to stay forever with the kids.
Check out Stephanie's blog, Graded on a Curve, HERE

1 comment :

  1. That black dress is gorgeous! Definitely fresh.... love your blog



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