So, for the 2nd year in a row I'm going on a mission trip to Nicaragua. Since I have been before, I know that I will have no control over my workout schedule or what is offered to me to eat.
I am allowed to take a small amount of snacks with me but for the most part I have to eat what is there. Last year there was an abundant supply of packaged crackers, cookies, and cereal bars...none of which I eat on a normal day. The meals were (as expected) cheap and made with lots of carbs...after all rice & pasta go the farthest when feeding a ton of people. I'm not complaining about the food. I was very thankful for the food we were being served. I'm just saying that it's not what I would normally eat.
My particular job on the trip requires a ton of physical activity. I run what we call "Wal-Mart". I am responsible for distributing all of the donated items and rice and beans. For 12 hours a day (minimum), I am moving and unloading boxes. I'm on my feet ALL day. I am burning a ton of calories but I don't feel complete if I don't meet some sort of workout goal. Last year I set a goal of doing 3 sets of 50 crunches and 10 push-ups each morning. I love good challenge. I stuck to it most mornings and on those days I felt better mentally. This year I plan to do my "1 Week Keep the Control Challenge".
I feel absolutely pathetic and worthless that these are my concerns when going into this mission trip. Really? I'm concerned about whether I eat too many processed calories and whether I get to do a workout each day? My daughter is going on the trip with me. I should be concerned about her well being. The people we meet are sick, poor, and stuck. They walk miles and miles in the rain, often starting their journey before the crack of dawn and not returning to their home until after dark. For many of them this will be the first and only time in their lives to be seen by a doctor. The rice and beans I give them will be the only food they have. The clothes and donated items I give them will be worth more to them in their world than a new piece of Tiffany's jewelry is worth to us in our world.
So this year instead of obsessing over my food and workouts, I will take the time each day to be thankful for the things that really matter.
- My family is healthy. I am healthy.
- My precious 10 year daughter, my sister and my Mother will be there with me.
- My family will never go a day in their lives wondering where their next meal will come from.
- My children have access to the best medical care in the world (obviously, I hope they will never need it).
- When I leave Nicaragua I will be returning home to a loving family, a beautiful home and community, and the privileges that come with being born in the land of opportunity.
**Pictures from Baptist Medical & Dental Mission International