I think I have always been a traveler at heart. From the time I was a young girl I was always thrilled to get away whether it was on a trip or to summer camp I always loved being gone. I went on my first international trip when I was barely 15 when I traveled to Europe with my High school French teacher. After that only school, my job, and at times and money could keep me stateside.
In the last year I have been to Jamaica multiple times and have just recently returned from Honduras. I loved seeing the similarities and differences between the two countries but I was saddened by the reoccurring theme of poverty. Granted, Honduras' poverty seemed more widespread and extreme than in Jamaica but nonetheless poverty is never appealing no matter the amount.
I always have a hard time integrating back into America society after being abroad but adjusting back after Honduras was even harder than usual. We saw some terrible things there all centered around the devastating effects of poverty. Children were highly malnourished, mothers were desperate for clothes, shoes, and food to care for their families, and their living structures were no more than pieces of wood and trash bags. For two nights I laid awake trying to process what I had seen but could find no peace. Then on the second day back I got an email from an acquaintance at World Help.
The email told about the tragic situation going on in Somalia due to an extensive famine. The numbers in the email were heart breaking. 29,000 children under the age of 5 and died in the last 90 days with thousands more expected in the coming weeks. More poverty to process and I felt confused and overwhelmed by it all.
I grappled over the numbers, played the pictures of the children in Jamaica, Honduras and now Somalia over and over on my computer and I knew I had to fight for them somehow. In order to help to the fullest capacity I felt like I needed to understand how they felt and what they were going through. On my quest to understand poverty and world hunger I created the Hunger Project where I vowed to forgo food until I felt somewhat close to how these starving children feel everyday. I am currently on Day 6 of the project and have blogging my daily finds about how it feels to truly be hungry. The blog and project are helping make people more aware of world hunger and encouraging us all to never forget how blessed we are. Some have joined me on a lesser scale and are giving up one meal a day. All money that is saved on not eating out and buying groceries is going to shipping 20 $6,000 food containers to a refugee camp in Kenya to help these dying people groups.
This is not a call to join the hunger project and to commit to giving up food because that part is simply not for everyone. Instead, this is a call to never forget that people around the world are dying everyday because of a lack of food and water. Also, I hope none of you will ever forget to be thankful that your children and families are amply blessed with the necessities of life.