I had the opportunity to participate in a favorite activity this weekend–camping. I love being surrounded by nature, cooking over a fire and getting “away from it all.” Throughout the weekend, I couldn’t help but compare the daily lives of women around the world with what was my time of recreation.
Here are a few of my observations from the weekend:
- Firewood was easy to find. If it wasn’t–I could go buy it. If I failed in my fire-starting techniques, I had a gas stove to rely on. No worries there.
- I had a ready water supply. I never once thought about the amount I was using, where I would get more or how far I would have to walk to get it. I wasn’t even really concerned about the quality of the water–it was good, filtered water. If I was really concerned, I could go buy it bottled from that handy convenience store on the corner.
- The mosquitoes plagued me–but I never once thought about malaria, yellow fever or other diseases. I just sprayed on more natural, deet-free repellent. Did I mention that store in case I ran out of said repellent?
- I had a feast for food. I had a cooler stocked with everything I thought I needed. We ate three well balanced meals a day. And if I didn’t want to eat what was in the cooler? No worries–there’s a restaurant at the nearest town.
- My shelter was a bit sketchy–but it was ok. It would take a lot of rain to get into my tent. The air mattress I slept on kept me off the ground and comfy. My sleeping bag was adequate to keep me warm all night. And my pillow–well, it goes on most trips with me.
All weekend, I kept wondering why these comparisons kept coming to mind. Why did it matter? Wasn’t it simply a weekend to enjoy?
The comparison between my weekend and the lives of women around the world ends at one small point: at the end of the weekend I could go home. I could go back to a temperature controlled house, running water, appliances to cook on, a large soft bed, a solid roof over my head…on and on the list goes. Simply because of the great freedom and opportunities of the country I was born in and God’s great grace, I “recreate” while others “survive”. And for that I am both grateful and burdened.
A kitchen in Laos: