Sunday, February 20, 2011

Take care of yourself

Sunday, 2-20-11

Well, I was planning to go to El Mozote and Perquin today with the Newton group. But my leg was hurting a little from the bursitis and I was still sort of dizzy (vertigo- I ran into a wall last night) so I decided it’d be best to stay home. I was pretty bummed out. I’ve been to El Mozote and Perquin before a few times (I was actually there last week) but I really like spending time with the delegations and hearing their view of the atrocities that occurred there. I learn or see something new each time I go. For a brief moment, I really regretted telling Kathy I didn’t feel well. I prefer to just “suck it up” and continue on with my plans. But I supposed that I needed to take care of myself. I don’t always need to run at full steam ahead.

I was sitting at the table this morning after everyone had left putting the finishing touches on my blog from yesterday. Then Cecilia came in and told me that I needed to go back to bed. “Rápido,” she told me. So I took my computer into my room and laid down on the bed. I slept on and off until about 2pm. I guess I really needed the rest. I was groggy and a little disoriented when I woke up but felt better.

I sat at the table and worked on going through some pictures for a while. Around 3:15 I had a little lunch to tide me over until dinner. It was an instant cup of noodles which I did not know you could get in El Salvador. It went down well. At 4:15 the group returned from El Mozote and Perquin. We talked briefly about their day but saved the bulk of our conversation until reflection time that night. We spent some time chatting about various topics and generally being silly until dinner was ready.

A bit of good news: I am a genius. Oh yes, you read correctly. First, I fixed Warren’s speakers that are connected to his MP3 player. He couldn’t get the volume as loud as he wanted. Now, I have a small MP3 player that is extremely basic and doesn’t have a screen or anything else like that. And I certainly don’t have speakers to attach to my MP3 player. But I think living with Matt has rubbed off on me. I’m much better at trouble shooting when it comes to electronic gadgets. Better, that is, about not throwing them across the room. It turned out the volume button on the speakers just needed to be pressed down for a longer period of time.

Then I fixed Linda’s IPod Touch which I think is very impressive since I’ve never actually used one before and don’t own any kind of Blackberry or similar device. She couldn’t get it to turn on and couldn’t figure out why. I took off the cover it had and held down what I thought to be the “on” button. It worked! The IPod turned on. Later in the evening I figured out how to set the time on it. “It must be your electric personality,” Warren told me. I declared myself a genius (the second time this trip) and decided I would be referred to as “genius” for the rest of the week. Well, I said a week. They said 24 hours. It’s just good to know that I’d be able to figure out either of those devices pretty quickly if the need arose.

At dinner tonight I shared a story called the Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker and thought I’d share it here:

The Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker

An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. The boat had several large, fresh fish in it.

The investment banker was impressed by the quality of the fish and asked the fisherman how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied, "Only a little while." The banker then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish.

The fisherman replied he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman replied, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends: I have a full and busy life."

The investment banker scoffed, "I am an Ivy League MBA, and I could help you. You could spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats until eventually you would have a whole fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You could control the product, processing and distribution."

Then he added, "Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City where you would run your growing enterprise."

The fisherman asked, "But how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then?" asked the fisherman.

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You could make millions."

"Millions? Then what?" asked the fisherman.

To which the investment banker replied, "Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends."


Linda OConnell said...

Great story Alisha. That's exactly why I want to be careful not to bring US values to El Salvador. I want life to be better for them so they don't have to work so hard for the bare necessities but I don't want to make them all business entrepreneurs

Matt said...

That is a great story and a good lesson to remember. I'm glad you were able to get some rest. It's okay to take it easy every once in while.