Bezaleel – Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Bezaleel means “under the shadow of God” and is the name of a school in Guatemala where Galen Lehman did volunteer work in July, 2008. #6 and final posting in a series of posts on what he learned there.

Every day on the job site in Guatemala, we followed a routine.  And the routine was never more constant than at meals.  Every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner, featured the same basic ingredients:

– Corn tortillas
– Black beans
– Lukewarm and weak, sugary coffee

If it was a good day, there was a small piece of dry cheese.  On three occasions, we had unsalted scrambled eggs (but never for breakfast).

Eating that same flavorless food every day for the span of two weeks at first seemed manageable.  After all, our hosts ate it every day for their whole life, right?  How bad could it be?

Then, it became fodder for jokes.  “Gee, what do you think we’ll have for lunch today?” “I’ll let you taste mine if I can taste yours.”

But, toward the end we plodded to the kitchen with gritty determination.  We settled into grim resignation as the gruel was ladled into our bowls.  We slouched at the crude wooden tables, forcing the food into our mouths.  It became pure drudgery.

This is life in Guatemala for the people who lived there.  Choice does not exist.  You take the cards dealt you and you play them, without complaint and without bitterness.

This, I learned, is the biggest difference between living in the USA and living in any developing country.  Here in the USA, we have choice.  We have freedom.  We can better our lives. That freedom of choice extends to food, work, religion, speech, where we live, everything.

How great that is!

It is that freedom of choice that leads to satisfaction, enjoyment and plain old-fashioned fun!  At Lehman’s, we honor freedom of choice by giving a guarantee of satisfaction with everything we sell. If you don’t like it, choose another!  In my own life, I try to honor freedom of choice by choosing well.  Good choices bring joy!  For my children, I’ve taught them to honor freedom of choice by selecting variety. Enjoy the spice of life!

In the Guatemala, a good day is a day with no beans.  In the USA, every day is a fresh start with new choices and new chances to remake your life!  Make your choices well!

(Don’t feel too sorry for me.  We had some good food in Guatemala, too!)

Click here for more information on Bezaleel.

Learn more about Mennonite Central Committee, a non-profit relief organization.

Learn about Guatemala.

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