Mental Buffering

culture and society, heavier things, storytelling

Home!!  I’m home, and I’m glad to be home.  I did a swan dive into bed at 2:30am and I’ve spent much of the morning snuggling my girls.  This past week has been… insane, eye-opening, devastating, and amazing all rolled into one.  I’m looking forward to writing more about Guatemala, but I’m still processing everything I’ve seen and experienced.

Mental Buffering

I asked Jack if he could be little patient with me if I seem frustrated over the next couple of weeks.  He’s been super supportive and told me that I could take my time and work my way through it.  :)

In the meantime, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful bloggers that went on this trip that I’m privileged to call my friends.  They are fantastic writers, and I’ve really enjoyed reading some of their work, so I thought it might be nice for you to get a perspective that is other than my own.  Some of my favorites:

– Jessica’s (Momma’s Gone City) thoughts about our first day in Guatemala.

What if We’re the Ones That Need Saving? by Zack at The American Jesus.

Let’s be ordinary.  Let’s be extravagant. by Micha at Mama Monk.

“Because food and clean water aren’t guarantees.” aaand while you’re at it, you should check out Matthew Paul Turner’s books.

– Caleb, the funeral director and embalmer behind Confessions of a Funeral Director, wrote about meeting his sponsored child.

An interesting financial breakdown by Shelby, guest posting on her mom’s blog.

“I looked poverty right in the face.” – a quote by  Jamie at The Very Worst Missionary

If you’re like, Yeahtime to sponsor a child, you can do that here.  And if you’re feeling compelled to sponsor a child in another country or a child that is the same age as your kids, please feel free to do so.  Just uncheck the box that says “You are searching for children living in community 166055.”

I am going to take a hot shower in an indoor bathroom, then throw some laundry in my washing machine as opposed to beating it against a rock and hanging it up to dry on a line.  I am going to spend time with my kids and thank God that they’ve never gone hungry, not even for a day.

Patient with Myself

I am going to try to play catch up with emails and clean my house.  I’ll be sweeping a tile floor instead of a dirt floor.  When I cook dinner, it’ll be in my kitchen, on a stove, and not outside over an open fire.  I’m probably going to walk around the house and feel a little spoiled.  I may feel angry at myself.  I may feel sorry for myself.  I may write about it or put up a mental wall and draw stick figures dancing to 2 Chainz instead.  I’m not really sure (HEY LET ME MAKE THIS POST ALL ABOUT ME, haaaaa), but I hope you can be a little patient with me, too.

Love to you all. ♥

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  • Reply Amanda @ Lady and the Trash September 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

    What you did rocked. Plain and simple. So take all the time you need!

    • Reply Roo September 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      Ooooh thank you so much, Amanda! xoxo

  • Reply Haley September 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’ve been on several mission trips to very poor countries and coming back is always very hard for me. Just remember that God blessed you so you can bless others. Keep those sweet children and the incredible people you met in your heart!

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks, Haley. I will.

  • Reply Kristin September 16, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Take your time, Roo. Whatever and whenever you want to share, we’ll be here!

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Thank you so much, Kristin!! ♥

  • Reply MissCaron September 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Love to YOU! What an awesome experience. If we all could “look poverty in the face” and realize just how great we have it this world might be a much different place. XOXO

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Agreed. So many truths in your comment, girl.

  • Reply Kat September 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I honestly don’t know if I could commit to a trip like the one you took. It would make me so sad. I feel like there’s just not enough I could do to make a difference. We currently sponsor 4 kids and a family through World Vision and have nothing but wonderful things to say about their sponsorship program. It’s been a very rewarding experience. The best part is that you can actually donate extra money to be given to the child’s family. I sent $75 one year and requested they purchase a bike for the boy we were sponsoring. They sent a picture back of the boy with his bike in addition to bags and bags of food, clothes, and building materials for the entire family. That 75 bucks went a LONG way and World Vision gave me piece of mind knowing they actually received the funds by taking the time to send me back that photo. So cool!!

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Wowww that’s a huge commitment, Kat. And I looove that they sent a photo!! That’s really awesome. You’re pretty incredible, homegirl.

  • Reply Missy September 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Not gonna lie that I sat there for a solid 7-9 seconds waiting for that black box to ‘buffer’ before I realized it wasn’t ACTUALLY a video. Oooooh, that’s like her BRAIN buffering. Got it. Maybe my brain needs to buffer a little. O_o

    I’m sure it can be hard to jump back into life after an experience like that and you often feel like you’re doing so little when so much can be done. But I know how rocked I was by reading the posts you shared and how moved I was to do more, I’m sure I’m not the only one. So thank you Roo for your vulnerability and honesty. And…waiting patiently (like way more than 7-9 seconds, patient) while you process.

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Hahaha d’oh! I should have edited the photo a little to make it more obvious. And thank you so much, Missy. xoxo

  • Reply jules September 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I was just wondering if you group of bloggers decided up front to do this together? Did you all have children in the same area? Did everyone go together to visit each child? I’m just wondering because a friend and I were thinking to do this and thought it’d be nice if we sponsored children in the same town so we could do our visit together.

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Good question! World Vision brought on a team of bloggers, and that’s when I sponsored Meilyn. But, you could totally contact them if you wanted to sponsor children in the same town. Let me know from which area you’re thinking, and I’ll set you up with a contact.

      Alternately, if you wanted to sponsor children in the area I was in, you can do so just by clicking through to that link. It’s automatically filtered to select kids from that community.

  • Reply tara September 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Roo, you did such an amazing thing! Seriously, you are awesome. I hope you take all the time you need to process your thoughts and feelings on the experience…and that you are able to put it all into words for us to read too. I read many of your posts from this past week with tears in my eyes and on my cheeks. I wonder if one year ago I’d have that same reaction? I like to think I would, although becoming a mom (my little girl is about to turn 7 months old) has changed me in so many ways. It’s harder to watch the news. It’s even more sad to read about the wars over seas. It was difficult to read your posts. I feel like because I’m surrounded by so many comforts and luxuries and just THINGS, it’s easy to forget how many people and children live with out even the most basic of necessities like running water.
    So thank you Roo. I look forward to reading more about your time in Guatemala and meeting your sponsor child. Get some rest and extra snuggles from those beautiful ladies of yours :)

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful comment, Tara. Processing is hard, but I’m totally glad I went.

  • Reply Catherine September 16, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Just take whatever time you need. We will be here to welcome your thoughts. x

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      I appreciate you, Catherine!

  • Reply Natasha September 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Roo, thank you again for sharing all of this, and take all the time you need ‘buffering’. We’ll be here :)

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Natasha, I have to thank you and a handful of others who have posted encouraging comments every day I put up a new post. It really, really helped me. :)

  • Reply Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. September 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Take your time processing. I imagine it would be quite overwhelming. I’ll still be reading. :)

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      You’re wonderful, Courtney!

  • Reply Laura September 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I can’t imagine all of the thoughts you must have rushing through your head. Take the time you need to process it, I mean you don’t want to forget anything.

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Jack suggested that I sit down and videotape myself talking about everything I saw, just so I don’t forget it. I might do that.

  • Reply Jenn September 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Take all of the time you need! I’ve gone on two mission-related trips to central america and coming home is the hardest part. I always feel a little bit better remembering the idea of the “reverse mission”. You went to learn, connect and be present so you can come home and do something for others with the blessed life you’ve been given. I look forward to hearing where your journey takes you!

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Great thoughts, Jenn. Thank you for sharing that. :)

  • Reply Mandi September 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I took a trip like this to Honduras right after I got out of high school and when I came back, I was angry at America for having so many useless luxuries and angry at myself for ever complaining about my own situation. And I just wanted to be back with the sweet children in the orphanage who had come from such terrible backgrounds. But at the same time, I was so thankful that I got to have that experience. It totally shifted my perspective in life and helped me to not be so selfish. I will never again look into a full pantry and declare that I have “nothing to eat.”

    • Reply Roo September 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Seriously, can I ever complain about doing laundry again?? I mean, I put clothes into a machine and they came out all clean.

  • Reply Misty September 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I just wanted to say I completely understand the feeling. I spent a month in Thailand about 9 years ago and I could not wrap my brain around my American lifestyle upon returning. I felt guilty and ashamed for the abundance and opportunities I had. I wanted to slap my friends for whining about the extra two minutes it took them to get their morning latte. I struggled to find a way to reconcile what I had experienced there with my “normal” life. It took me awhile to readjust and even though I eventually got back into the routine I still to this day have moments where the drastic differences between my life and those of the majority of the world trouble me. I honestly think everyone should have this experience. Though difficult in some ways it opens the eyes and mind in ways nothing else can. It is one of the most treasured experiences of my life. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have loved reading your posts about it.

    • Reply Roo September 21, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      It is really difficult, Misty. I am trying to be gracious as possible, but I failed a little when one of my daughters told me that it was “unfair” that I had asked her to change from shorts into pants. :/ They didn’t have the experience I did, so I need to be a little gracious with everyone around me, you know? Thank you for your thoughtful comment. :)

  • Reply Lesley September 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Take all the time you need. What a wonderful but heartbreaking experience. I read stuff like this and feel guilty for having so much.

    • Reply Roo September 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Thank you, Lesley! It totally isn’t my intention to make anyone feel guilty (although I find myself feeling guilty, too), but to inspire action.

  • Reply The new face of hope in Guatemala | WORLD VISION BLOG September 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

    […] Roo Ciambriello: “Mental Buffering” […]

  • Reply Emily September 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Take all the time you need. What you did is amazing. I haven’t done another mission trip since high school and I still remember parts of it vividly. I still catch myself struggling with the guilt of all we are blessed with in the United States. I take such simple things for granted. Experiences like those definitely put a lot into perspective.

    • Reply Roo September 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Absolutely, Emily. Like running water. Indoors. Inside of my house. A luxury in some places, but I’ve not thought twice about it since before this trip.

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