Stories

2

A Small Closed Wooden Box

 

It was the last place I wanted to be.

Whenever it had come up in conversation, I would always tell people that I had never had to spend a night in the hospital. I would say it with that false sense of pride that comes with believing it had more to do with some exaggerated inner strength than just simple luck.

And yet there I was, in a hospital bed with an I.V drip in my arm, right where I had been for the past four nights. That false sense of pride finally, and rightfully, shattered.

Read More

0

Change Starts Here (and it starts now)

Tiny forgotten corners exist all the world over. Here people go about their lives figuring out all sorts of ingenuous ways to make it work; to put enough food on the table, to stay safe, to ward off threats, to care for their children.

These communities often possess values and practices that inspire us in the west but most often there is a harsh cocktail of realities that play havoc every day. People die younger, are bereft of opportunities, struggle to put adequate food on the table, encounter illnesses of various forms which takes a terrible toll and are bereft education, freedom and opportunity.

Changing my world, my tiny corner, is where it all starts. Where is your Santo Domingo?

Years ago a few of us landed on the muddy shores of Santo Domingo de Onzole; a remote and ignored village in the northern forests of Ecuador. Over those few days we encountered a world so very different than our own. As we departed most of us would have waved goodbye without any sense that we would return… rather a check on the all important bucket list. However in a strange and mysterious way the people of that community staked a claim on our affections. In the years that followed that claim grew considerably. Some of us returned to try and make our contribution. A few Canadians made a deep personal commitment and lived in the village. Many donated. The townsfolk met us, served and cared for us, leaving an indelible impression at the deepest levels. Only the most hardened can walk away after a visit unchanged.

Corners of neglect exist everywhere in our world: wherever people are alone, suffer, and feel abandoned, wherever opportunity is stunted, or people go about their existence wondering if they matter… if anything really matters! Politicians and sales people are extremely artful at preying on these deep feelings of disillusionment. It is into these places, these corners, that Life Change Adventures is compelled to go. This little video helps provide a snap shot of the world of Santo Domingo de Onzole. We hope that it inspires you to invest in change for the people in your tiny corner. Changing the world is an overwhelming task. But changing my world, my tiny corner, is where it all starts. Where is your Santo Domingo? Tell us about it.

0

When The Earth Shook

The first time that I was in Ecuador with Carlos I watched with great amusement as he taught a bunch of rural village kids the nuances of the great Canada game of “hockey! hockey! hockey!” for that is what they exclaimed each time their stick touched the bouncing ball.

Much has changed. Now my friend Carlos, 3 years removed from his journalism studies at Carleton University in Ottawa lives in Guayaquil, Ecuador and journeys alongside of many of people who live along the Onzole River in the northern province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Yes, that is center of Saturday’s earthquake.

Carlos relayed to me his story of riding in a taxi on the streets of Guayaquil when the earthquake struck. “It felt as if a bunch of hooligans were rocking our car’ he said. “But then we pulled over and I could see windows and cement falling from the buildings. Suddenly the lights went out, the entire city pitched into darkness.” He described the alarm and the masses of people cascading from the building and into the street; some injured, others frightened, and still others crying and overwhelmed.

Life Change Adventures invites people to become engaged in the process of change. Start now, start in your local context; work, school, neighbourhood. Just start!

Carlos did and now he finds himself in the very centre where the entire earth is shook. Change is inevitable. Sometimes it enters our life almost imperceptibly, other times we contribute, and then, other times it just plummets into our world without warning.

A life well lived simply must be a life that cares for others and embracing the care that will be returned; investing in change and being changed in the process.

Carlos observes; “It is absolutely amazing how disaster that literally tears the earth apart has brought people together in solidarity for one another.”