silver lining (noun)
a consoling aspect of an otherwise desperate or difficult situation; “every dark rain cloud has a silver edge or lining”; “look on the bright side of it.”
Roughly a year ago I was in Honduras doing volunteer work and taking Spanish classes for a week. It was my fourth volunteer trip, third one to a Central American country, and was fulfilling the promise I made to myself years ago to give back to those in need.
For a place of so much beauty, there is also so much pain.
This trip was quite different than the others. Perhaps it was because I was in a much poorer area than the other countries and also maybe because I was truly alone. I did not travel with a group of volunteers and instead flew there alone spending the week with a gracious Honduran host family who welcomed me with open arms.
Today, a year later I still think back about this experience and realize Honduras was filled with silver linings of bittersweet emotions and questions that I continue to have until this day. Emotions that will never fully be resolved yet will continue my quest to give back and do what little I can to make the world a better place.
The trip was filled with joys and sorrows. Joy for the beauty of the people, the welcoming touch of my host family and the wonders of their warm, fascinating culture. The sorrows of the children I left behind at the day care center, in a place that was neither warm nor welcoming. A sad place where I would never want to leave my own children for the day. Yet these women had no choice.
A year later, I wonder about these beautiful, smiling faces from my post “Love and Heartbreak in a Honduran Day Care“. They smiled despite their poverty, despite this unloving place, despite it all. They showed me the beauty and innocence of children. The unbreakable resilience that allows them to survive. But I wonder what will become of them as they grow older and are left to struggle and fight in the cruel world of poverty and inequity in which they were born.
What will become of them? Will the sad, vicious cycle of poverty drown them? Will they too be left alone like their mothers to raise their children single-handly in poverty and have no choice but to send them to an unhappy place?
What will become of these beautiful, innocent faces?
Sadly there are no answers and the world is full of silver linings. It is up to us to question life, and make the best of what we can and do whatever is in our power to make it a better, more equitable place.
This post was inspired by Where’s my Backpacks’ Travel Theme: Silver. To read more entries, click here.