I spent Saturday working in Nogales, Arizona. It has a variety of economic and health issues — none unique to this border town. Nogales, Sonora — just across the imaginary line — is regularly plagued with disease that you rarely hear of in the US. Cholera, scurvy, malnutrition, etc.
When it rains, the poor drainage mixed with houses that have been built on top of each other, cause a catastrophe. The top soil has eroded. The water table is corrupt. A healthy existence is not easily found in a town where 500,000 push against a wall, waiting for their turn to cross.
With a group of volunteers, I helped in a medical clinic. I served as translator and quickly realized my Spanish skills are rusty at best. I need to find a Spanish podcast to regularly listen to and get back to a conversation group.
That said, there is something about this sort of work that makes me feel at peace. I hold hands, I listen intently and I truly love trying to figure out how we can help others. It hasn’t always been this way, but I am so glad it’s where I’ve arrived.
“The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something
that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile. I think of my
strawberry souffle. I did that at least twenty-eight times before I
finally conquered it.”