I'm on a bus in Asuncion headed to...I don't even know where. You'd think at this point I'd have all these places memorized. I've read about them, talked about them, planned about them, and I can't even keep up with the schedule. But that just makes me love and appreciate Belen so much more (if that's even possible). I'm a perfectly capable human being and could have this entire plan memorized if I knew I needed to, but I left this entire part up to Belen. It's funny how much I see our rolls when we're together. Most of the time we are thinking or saying the same exact thing and we are so similar, but we're also so different. I'm the dreamer and she's the planner. Is she a dreamer? Yes of course. Am I a planner? Most definitely. It's the way we let each other take the lead when it's needed that works so well for us. We haven't even known each other an entire year but we've basically put unconditional trust into each other and like any relationship it takes work but we are willing to do it because we know how much we can accomplish together.
That's the thing I love about humanity. Can you make a difference alone, absolutely, but if you really want to make an impact you work in numbers. Connection means so much to humanity and I really get that now. More than I get it, I have a relationship with it now.
I remember at times over the last year, with all the craziness happening in the world, that I was just a naive little human thinking I could impact the world with bikes. Just bikes, when there are all these bigger problems that need attention. Well I didn't listen to that thinking, that doubt in my head, because I knew it was part of my being human. Being here has not only confirmed the need for bikes, the need for empowerment, the need for global connection but now I have SEEN what a bike can do for someone's life. I know project bike love will impact many women and communities around the world. I know we'll also need to revisit and take care of the ones we've already touched.
We met with Techo today, a nonprofit in Asuncion that builds houses in Limpio and I was so touched by the work they do and how they do it. I'm learning so much about starting a nonprofit: what it takes, what we've done wrong, what we've done right, what works and what doesn't, what we need, what we want. I plan on always learning. The world changes, business changes, needs change, people change, so I'll never expect to know all I need to know to make Project Bike Love impact as many people as it can and hopefully it will continue beyond my years on this earth.
I'm so lucky to have this passion, to make it my purpose and to spend my quiet time worrying and planning on how to impact the world. I don't know what I used to spend so much time thinking about. Probably worrying about my future and my this and my that, and I still do of course, but I love being consumed with something bigger than me.
So here I am, on this bus to I-don't-know-where with Belen, Lupe & Amy, and I see how perfectly imperfect everything is. First of all, I don't know what Belen and I would have done if Amy didn't come. Could Belen and I have done it alone, sure, would it have worked so well, probably not. It's amazing to see the impact it has on Lupe's life, to see this young girl be empowered and take on these huge challenges. To see Amy fall in love with all the beneficiaries. To meet Alica and see how much she loves our project and all the work she's done to bring it to life here. And all the other people we encounter along the way! I want more women like this in my life. I mean I have so many, but I want more, not for me, but for the world.
Just right now as I write this, Belen has pulled the bus over because this little boy, maybe 5 years old, is coughing uncontrollably and crying, so she is taking him into the pharmacy to make sure he gets the medicine he needs so he can make the trip. I bet she doesn't even know how many lives she's saved, nor would she ever care. In Belen's world it's rarely about her. I'm hearing him cough like crazy and of course in my head I'm like "OMG I'm going to get so sick and then I'll be miserable" and Belen's just right up there in his face, giving him medicine, trying to make him laugh. I love to witness the selflessness of humans, it's inspiring. It teaches me a lot about who I am, who I want to be, and who I need to be. I also love to witness the selfishness. Not to judge but to just experience how utterly me-driven the world is. But like any two opposing things, they need each other to exist. If there wasn't selfishness there wouldn't be selflessness and so on. I don't know for sure where I'm going but I sure as heck love how I'm getting there.