So what does one take when packing to leave for a mission trip? Good question. One that makes me realize I need a little more simplicity in my life. And one that makes me realize it is easier to fall into the stereotypical arrogant-American, living in excess, role that I strive to avoid.
Before anyone starts the rampage- back off. I am very proud and blessed to be an American.
This situation is one of the few reasons I hesitated on opening my personal blog up to the public. And, maybe I just need to get this statement out of the way. I’ll say this once and once only. I will not apologize for anything I say here because someone doesn’t like or understand the statement. I’ll discuss, explain (to an extent) but I will not argue, encourage or get lost in arguing over my choice of words or thoughts. This is my house (hence the name, D’s Place.) I have extended my welcome mat to you, cross and enter these pages peacefully- or don’t cross it at all.
Okay, I’m stepping off of my soapbox now, thanks for listening…
Packing 101, continued
I generally try to think of myself as a fairly down to earth person. I don’t attempt to keep up with the Jones’, I don’t live a lavish lifestyle and I live by my motto that as long as I have, I have something to give.
After attempting to pack for a two week mission trip to Peru, where I am going to help and serve others who are less fortunate than myself I’ve discovered something…..
I have too much stuff and a lot of room for personal growth
I skate closer to that stereotypical line than I realize
I envy those who can travel abroad for weeks at a time living out of a simple back pack with every need met.
It goes something like this:
Me(two weeks before trip): Hmm, we get one large checked bag that can weigh up to 50lbs, a carry on, back pack and computer bag. We only have to pack a couple of changes of clothes to work in, a few necessities and we can use the clothes we travel in for our visits to homes, churches and other locations. I can do that, sounds like I’ll have all the room to pack I’ll need.
Myself (days later): Crap, how am I going to get all of this stuff in these bags?! I know I’ll forget something if I don’t pack everything. I mean it is not like I can just run to the corner store to buy what I want. These bags are never going to hold everything.
I(5:30am the day before we fly out): Really D? Between the clothes you travel in, the toiletries and the emergency change of clothes you put in your carry-on, what else couldn’t you live without? Remember where you are going and why; remember the difference between need and want. Now go zip up your bags and be thankful for everything around you!
I find it amazing at times how easy we (I) can drift from the attitude of need to want without even realizing it. Yes, we are blessed with luxuries around us. Things like running water, electricity, a choice of what we are going to wear today, shoes (with a rather large emphasis on the plural), solid buildings to house us, our wants and needs really are all luxuries aren’t they?
Well, I’m off to pack…a little lighter than before. I can’t wait to share this experience with you. Thanks for stopping by.