Final Reflection by Bennie Chacon.

When I started this journey, I asked myself 8 questions.
What will I see?  I saw the joy and happiness in the faces of the 12 people I traveled with.  It didn’t matter that we had been in a crowded van for 6 hrs on two-lane highway with construction.  I saw the contentment in Marisa’s face when she talked about her program and the people that were helped.

I also saw happiness in myself.  Water is my element, so the ocean makes me happy.  Being able to be with people for the length of time that I did makes me smile, since no one knew (even me)  how hard that was.

What will I touch?  I was definitely spiritually touched.  Seeing Ramon and his staff at the soup kitchen working (it was hot) really hard to make sure that the area was clean and the food was good.  Most of the people there were volunteers and Ramon worked twice as much as he was getting paid for.  This was amazing.

What will I taste?  I had the best cup of coffee at Lupita’s house.  My group was painting another house and we finished before the group at Lupita’s so we went over to see if we could help.  Lupita was brewing coffee and she shared a cup with me.  There was definitely love in that cup.

What will I hear?  The sound of Maria gasping with joy at the presentation of 2 roses.  She loves flowers and stated that she doesn’t get them enough.

Will I thirst?  This I witnessed with Frank the Franciscan who is starting a tech school.  The excitement in his eyes when he talked about how he was going to fill the thirst for knowledge in his students with skills to better their lives.

Will I hunger?  I saw the need to help in Mexico, but I also saw that I need to help my own country.  I saw that my country has homelessness, hunger and the need to educate.  I do hunger to help.

Will there be pain?  Only the music at 3am.  All around me there were people with limited resources, but they seemed happy, determined to make good with what they had.

So did I find Balance?  Still working on it.  But I did learn that being around people is not a bad thing.  Helping my fellow man is not a bad thing.  I am a bit closer to the Balance, but I must remember that Buddha sat under a Bodhi Tree for a time longer that I could ever dream of before  he attained enlightenment.  So for me, baby steps.