From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

April 6

My parents came to visit me while I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. Approaching my little hut, my parents grew quiet as they took in the seemingly impoverished human condition of my life. I had already been living on the island for over a year and was not prepared for how this lifestyle might appear to a “more comfortable” mind, especially my father’s.

At night, we retired to the comforts of my bamboo floor and the darkness. Mom and Dad cringed in horror at the sounds of rats and mice scuttling, lizards chuckling, palm-sized spiders leaping and carnivorous cockroaches gnawing just beyond the flimsy mesh barriers of their mosquito nets.

When dawn arrived, we were up at the crack of it. Water needed to be fetched, food scavenged for, laundry soaked and scrubbed.

The day before my parents departed, we had lunch at a hotel. I glanced over at Dad and asked him what was wrong. He looked deeply at my mother and said, “We’ve seen so little of the world, other people, other customs, other ways of living. Thank you, Leah, thank you for opening our eyes.”

Leah Burgess

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