Today is Mother’s day of 2017 and we have been in Ecuador for just over 7 months. I’m not going to lie…I was already slightly feeling a bit sorry for myself at the beginning of the week thinking about how I will be without my children and my mother this year. But shortly after that I received a message from a friend of mine Rosie, who works with people with disabilities here in my area of Ecuador. She asked if I would like to help her put together some baskets of goodies for the mothers of the families she works with. I’m so glad she contacted me!! Instead of sitting home and feeling sorry for myself (which I would have done) I had the tremendous privilege of getting a peak into the lives of these people here whose need is unbelievably great.
We were able to deliver groceries to about 15 families today and let them know someone cares for them! Soon after we started on our way, it started to pour out, so many of our visits were done in the pouring rain, trudging through mud and thankfully not getting the vehicle stuck in the mud. My next door neighbor Sandy graciously agreed to drive us around all the way from La Boca to Los Arenales.
All of the mothers are either disabled themselves or are caring for disabled family members. Some disabilities are mental, some are physical and some are both. Today I saw poverty unlike I have never seen before. Many of the homes we delivered groceries to are off the beaten path, are made of bamboo, have concrete floors (some dirt), and windows open to the outside (no glass or screens). Most furniture consists of a few plastic chairs which the families eagerly brought out from other rooms to offer us a seat.
One woman is elderly and is caring (by herself) for 4 adult children who are all blind. One family of four (mom, dad and two small babies) live in a tiny one room house the size of a walk in closet. One adult mentally disabled son is helping care for his elderly mother who is not able to walk or sit up. One woman is caring for both her mentally handicapped teens by herself as her husband has passed. One woman is completely bedridden and is cared for by her daughter in law who also cares for 4 small children. These are only a few examples of the homes we visited today.
I am struck by the kindness of the Ecuadorian people all eager to pull up a chair and invite us to sit down with them in their home. Some even reciprocating by offering us coconut milk fresh from the coconut. All very thankful for the food and the short visits.
I was also struck by the kindness of my friend Rosie for giving of herself so tirelessly and allowing me to tag along side her. Rosie is also Ecuadorian, has two jobs and 3 children of her own she cares for along with her husband. I’m amazed at her giving attitude and her desire to help others out even though today would have been a perfect day for her to take it easy herself. God bless you Rosie!
The mothers I had a chance to meet today were amazing strong woman who keep going even though some days I’m sure they don’t feel like it. It was truly a beautiful Mother’s day!