all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday's Offering...Where to start?

I have wondered where to start...

view out our apartment dinning room window 

home life has taken over
already it feels like a life time ago
funny how life does that.
But my commitment to myself was to not forget...
thus the book that is to come
because not only do I never want to forget
I want others to be awakened
I thought I would start with some visuals
of what I saw each day
when we drove up to the center each day.

In Medellin they have a class system
ranging from 1-7
1 being the worst
7 being the best
where we stay is a 3
where our center is, is a 1
(though in my opinion it really seems lower than that)
We all agreed we would not want to stay
in any higher level of class
3 felt real and still offered us a level of safety
being that our apartment complex is gated
anything 4/5 and higher is much like home
too much like home
I have to say
I am amazed at the levels that represent
 the affluent
since poverty dominates the classes

but I have found that all over the world
there is a level of denial about
that which happens to those less fortunate
 in all areas of life

Medellin has a population of 3.8 million people
When I am there I am tornado-ed
 the sounds
the bodies
the never ending movement
that is this very large city
It is a place of sensory overload and stimulation.
It is everything I avoid in my everyday life.

But this place
has become a home to me
my Other Home
and each time I leave
it is harder
and more painful. 

The rainy season had started early
and the city was lush with green and blossoms
this was a welcome surprise
especially around the center
which is perched above the city on
the mountain side.
Our people up there
are now recognized as "displace people"

This is because
many of the ghettos formed are by
 those who came in from the country
escaping the threat of the Guerilla warfare.
The government is now recognizing these people
which is good
as they now have proper hydro power
and also
can apply for government relief.

But this also unpackages a problem
that is universal amongst the poor
-how to manage these grants
When you are poor
you have been stripped of many more things
than finical stability
the stability of clear thought is also taken
the stability of making a long term decision
is also taken
the living beyond the moment
is taken
So often this money is not spent with long term
plans in mind
what could have been a help up and out
gets sucked up by the dry earth
that is poverty.

there is hope my lovelies
and you became part of that hope!
These are some of the things
that your donations helped with:

cab fare and phone minute
 for one of our university students
this is for her safety as traveling alone
can be dangerous at certain times of the day
12 gift bags for the women who work at the center
special outing for some of the kids
youth out reach program
and the big one and I
bought an industrial dishwasher for the kitchen at the center
our hope is to add another meal per day
a dish washer would help greatly for this to become a reality

yes smile
yes hug yourself
I told them all about you
woman around the world
who gave
who care
who love
they were so amazed
dis belief and confusion
would often cross their faces
when my interpreter told them of you

Thank you
from me
from them

Love and Light


  1. I felt like crying just from looking at the pictures. So many emotions came up. I don't know if I could have survived bearing witness to so much, in person. You really are a heroine to me. xoxo

    1. wow
      thank you sister
      I don't feel like a heroine
      I just feel like someone who has been given an opportunity to do something to impact the world....something I was born to do....

      I am humbled

      love and light

  2. and btw, your new pic up there ^ Beautiful!!! xoxo

    1. thank you...hubby took it the first weekend home...I felt the strong need it go to the ocean when I came soul needed her
      thank for being here
      I love you

  3. a perfect awakening.

    when i returned to my own "home" area several years ago, i wanted to cry at the sight of the poor, their homes, the businesses closed down and boarded up. THIS is why we need to take a stand to remain positive and do what we can to help others less fortunate than we are.

    [love that new banner photo....!]

    1. you have such a beautiful heart Marie
      your words are truth

      love and light

  4. your pictures are absolutely beautiful Cat
    there was an article this morning about beggars in NZ and how it is becoming increasingly more
    I know from traveling NZ is no where near over seas countries, we have welfare.
    However, your line ""I have found that all over the world
    there is a level of denial about
    that which happens to those less fortunate
    in all areas of life"" struck a chord with me

    Love n Light my precious friend

    1. Oh Cat, how I love your visits
      I have to say
      I am glad that a cord was struck within you...that is my purpose...not that we put a band-aide on things but that we go in and treat the sickness...that we, as the common fold, start to wake up and put pressure on those in power to change how we do things...when the fact is that everyone on the face of the earth can eat 1300 calories a day and yet most of the worlds children go hunger and die daily due to hunger, there is something seriously wrong.
      mmm sorry...a little rant there

      Love and Light
      from one Cat to another

  5. It always amazes me when I see the smiling faces on kids in poverty stricken places. They must look at the world in the glass half full way. The lush countryside, hills and mountains, it's beautiful, yet, tucked in are these ramshackle places. I notice they try to find a dab of bright happy colors for a trim here & there. Good job babe. So glad there are caring souls like you who venture out there and pass on encouragement and love.
    The new pic is the epitome of love & light.

    1. you my friend ALWAYS have the perfect words...straight from your heart...I really love that about you
      the smiling faces
      oh those faces......

      love and light

  6. I love your new picture. I wasn't sure what to say to this post....thus no response. Because it brings up so much...For my trip what you show was the ones still living...
    And that was tough enough...
    and then we went further into the bush and it was like Africa. With dirty syringes in the medical place and a woman bleeding still from birth three days ago and the walls covered in blood when I walked into her moaning..( she survived with our help and I held her baby when giving out worm medication...maybe it was a mistake to work in the medical clinic...) and children so starving that their skin was stuck to them and I could not eat that week...and I gave my food through the gate...even though it was not allowed...and I could not fathom the desperation. As I look at your photos the city base we went to comes back...and the different sort of desperation there that could easily be fixed with tiny amounts of money to us...but you know all this...I am sorry...I think I have post traumatic stress from it ten years later.
    So all that to say, I respect your journey and will read it and I love your heart and strength and mercy but I may not always have something to say that is constructive in regards to the third world because my heart just hurts too much and I need to be present here...and yet there will always be part of my soul wounded there...I admire you so much and I hope this was ok to say?
    Glad your trip went well and you found a second home!

    1. your voice is welcome here K...whatever you have to share...these things can shake us to the core, it is true
      Did you journal your trip way back sounds like it has the need to get out of you
      this kind of work is not easy...I do know
      and we all have a different part in it

      your story is reflective as where I you walk further from the city the poverty and all the horrors that go with it get is the land scape of such things...

      thank you for is good to do
      love and light my friend

  7. Replies
    1. thank Sophie
      nice to have you stop by

      love and light

  8. I am so glad that you have done this and have such a heart for these. It is always encouraging to hear and see the joy, and even sorrow, of those who take such journeys. I think a greater expression of oneself is hard to find, than that of what you have done. Thanks for sharing and allowing us to be part of your journey:).

    1. thank for being part of the journey P, I so appreciate your voice here

      love and light

  9. Just all around loveliness! xoxo

    1. ahhh Mandy
      it is just like you to bring in the lovelyness

      love and light

  10. Your blog is fantastic-- love that I came across it.
    What wonderful thing!

    1. thank you Ashley
      lovely to have you here

  11. I love looking at the faces in that last photograph. Just a moment caught of Life. Thank You for all the work You have done and do. The lives You touch and nurture further. Just one small act of kindness can alter Everything. I have seen it, I have Lived it.
    All the Love to You & Yours.

    1. thank you so much my friend
      and your words ring small act changes the world
      love to you

      hope you had some time to read some of the other entries
      love and light


Your voice is welcome here, your connection appreciated. Love and Light