Doing Some Good

I've got a handful of topics to quickly discuss today before I get into the real nitty-gritty of what's going on. First, we are still in Seattle and it looks like we are going to be here for at least another week or so. We've been working on getting my uncle's house cleaned out, fixed up, and put on the market to sell, and what do you know, that all takes time. We have another contractor coming out to fix the roof next week, and after that, we'll be booking a flight to head back to our floating home in Mexico. Oh Mexico, how we've missed you.

In between family matters and working on the house, we've been doing our best to visit with family and friends. And yes, we are trying to see you all, but unfortunately, some of you will be missed. There just isn't enough time for everything and everyone. I know some of you are probably thinking that we have nothing but time, so stick around just a little longer and get your butts over here for some face to face time with me. Uh, no offense, but warm sun and adventure in Mexico is much more fun that you. Sorry, but it's true. We are seriously looking forward to getting back to our floating home and continuing on our big adventure. Especially since we have actually had access to internet while we've been in Seattle and I can regularly get emails and messages from some of our cruising friends down south who are reminding us of the surf they are catching, the fun they are having, and the tacos they are eating. If for nothing else than the tacos alone, we can't wait to get back.

Now that I've gotten through the basics of what's going on with us, it's time to get to the real nuts and bolts of what I want to talk about today. If you've been reading the blog and/or watching the videos about our time in Mexico, then you may have caught a glimpse of us helping our good friends on S/V Monkey Fist deliver free eye exams and glasses to remote villages on the Baja Peninsula. We've been fortunate enough to have been able to help out in a handful of villages now and I haven't talked a lot about those experiences because we've still been processing what it's meant to us.

I could probably just tell you that it's been rewarding to do something nice for another human being and leave it at that, but there is a lot more to it than that. In these tiny villages, there is a real need that currently isn't being met.

There are aid groups all over the world that do great things. More often than not, these aid groups focus their time, energy, and money on people and places where they get the most bang for the buck. A tiny village in Mexico, with maybe only 20 people, where the only access is by boat, is without a doubt not going to get the same attention as a place where resources can be handed out easily and cost effectively. This is where we come in.

If you haven't noticed, we have a boat, we love going to out of the way remote places, and we love visiting with the local people to experience real life in these far out places.

Before we left on this big adventure, I had often thought about how I would occupy my time. I had a nagging feeling that we may get bored. I thought that since I had a background in construction, I could go to some of these remote places and as a way of not only occupying time and doing some good but also getting an “in” with the locals, I could help build things or maybe be Mr. Fix-it in a tiny village. Little did I know that adventuring itself takes a lot of time and boredom hasn't been an issue. But more than that, people in these remote places are extremely resourceful. Nothing is wasted and just because I have a pretty good knowledge of building codes in the States and can whip up a skyscraper, that doesn't translate into fixing a shack that is put together with driftwood, pieces of an old fishing net, and tin. My building skills here are useless. I could learn a thing or two about ingenuity just by being a fly on a wall.

I think a lot of cruisers leave their comfy life in the States or wherever they come from and think about doing some sort of good while they are off gallivanting around the globe. But most people, just like us, have no idea what to do or where to start. They may join a charity cruising event and put in a little bit of time while the week long event is happening and then go on their merry way until next year's event, feeling like they did something grand. That's all well and good, but I have wanted something more than an event with 100 other cruisers could provide. I have wanted something that is not only lasting but more personal, something that I don't have to wait until next year before I can be involved again, and something that is mobile so we can keep on moving through not only Mexico, but distant shores and different countries.

Since our good friends on S/V Monkey Fist are making their way home to Australia, that means we won't be traveling companions forever. And as you probably guessed, their rapidly dwindling supply of glasses are going with them to be distributed to needed recipients across the Pacific as they make their way home. So, where does that leave us?

The first thing we are doing is getting together a supply of glasses to help re-stock S/V Monkey Fist's dwindling supply. They have given away tons of glasses during their time in Mexico and their supply of the more common prescriptions are looking pretty slim. We've contacted the Lyon's Club in Oregon (they are who will be supplying the re-stock of glasses) and are hoping that when we fly back to Mexico, we'll have a suitcase full of the needed glasses to hand over to our good friends so they can carry on. It would be a shame to go to a remote village and look someone in the face and tell them, “sorry, but we ran out of what you need.”

The next thing we are doing is working on getting our own supply. While I have been working on my uncle's house, Brenda has spent time working the phones, sending emails, and filling out forms that will hopefully end up stocking us with about 2,000 pairs of glasses that we can distribute as we make our way through Mexico and beyond. If all goes as planned, when we return to Mexico, not only will we have a suitcase full of glasses for our friends, but we'll have an extra few suitcases full for us.

There is still quite a bit to do logistically to make all of this happen and more details that we have to hash out, so, I'll fill you in with more info as we go along. For now, I will just say that we are excited at the prospect of making this happen and even more excited to be a part of something that can have instant and lasting effects on a person's quality of life. Because doing something nice for another human being is just a good thing.

The Doctor is in at Isla Pardito.

The "clinic" at San Evaristo is in full swing and busting at the seams.

The tiny village at Isla Pardito has been on this tiny rock since the late 1800's.  An amazing place for sure.
And if all that wasn't enough, our newest video is now on Youtube.  Check it before you wreck it:

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