By Boot Girl Myra
How many times have you driven through a fast-food restaurant in your lifetime? Maybe 100 or 1,000. If you are a parent with kids in club ball of any sort, it’s more than probable you live in fast-food establishments. It’s so simple, easy and no clean-up to speak of, except to throw away the trash and wipe your saucy face clean!
My friend, Nnyanzi Emmanuel (Emmy as we like to call him), is from Uganda. He is here visiting the United States for the first time. He’s been on my mind every day this week as I envision him experiencing a boat-load of firsts. Not the least of which is his first experience with the fast food drive-thru lane. I think he’s probably said the word “wow” as many times in the last 7 days as I have been to a fast-food restaurant in my lifetime!
It wasn’t very long ago that Emmy had to walk 1.5 miles to fetch water 5-6 times a day and collect firewood for cooking a meal. We are not talking back in the 1930’s either, we’re talking just last week. He went from that kind of hard work just to make a pot of rice to “pull up to a box, say a number and food comes out at you”, as he described his fast food experience yesterday. Ok, that deserves double, even triple the WOW factor.
I came home half ashamed for the days, weeks, months even years where every modern convenience known on earth is in my own home and I use them without a second thought or a smidge of appreciation. Often, while using all these conveniences I’m also wishing I had more. I wish I had more storage for my stuff. I wish I had a bigger microwave. I wish I had extra gardening gloves. I wish I had a few more controllers for the wii, I wish, I wish, I wish.
I know Thanksgiving was last November and all, but this week became Thanksgiving to me. Going to the sink and filling my water glass is a luxury that ¾ of the world doesn’t experience on a daily basis. The chore of unloading a dishwasher had new perspective for my daughter when she learned that there are no such things as dishwashers where Emmy lives. He proudly proclaims he IS the dishwasher after rounding up a bucket to fetch water in a nearby river.
The last couple years we’ve been dealt an economic blow of ginormous porportions, loss of jobs, increasing gas prices, natural disasters beyond belief. It’s been a tough winter and a very dangerous start to spring with tornadoes, flooding, mud-slides and wildfires devastating small communities all over our beautiful country. In spite of all this, we have some amazing modern conveniences, often they help lighten the load in the midst of difficulty. It’s just a little drive up the road to Sonic where you can enjoy your favorite liquid refreshment for just 74 cents at happy-hour (2-4pm). I’m a fan. But today I’m a thankful fan. I can find 74 cents in the back seat of my car on any given day of the week, small change that in Uganda would feed several children for a day.
Stop for a minute today and look around your house or apartment. Think of all the wonderful luxuries you have, even if there are only a few, like running water, a TV or internet. Maybe it’s as simple as a loaf of bread on your table, something for which you didn’t have to walk 1.5 miles to fetch the water and firewood to make. While you’re at it, say a prayer of thanks and holler up a “WOW” for the men and women who ensure we have the freedom to create and enjoy these many luxuries we have every day!