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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Ripple

~The continuing and spreading results of an event or action~

We have come to the time in our journey where we have acquired many experiences, witnessed some of the best and worst of humanity, spirits, and souls. We have taught, we have listened, we have learned, we have built, we have torn down, we have created, we have danced, we have laughed, we have shared. But have we made a difference??

There is just so much need.

We have seized opportunities to learn about development, successful and unsuccessful aid programs, charitable giving and handouts versus accountability and sustainability. Lately we have let ourselves become frustrated, so obssessed with the notion of sustainability, we often feel like we are not doing enough. It is times like these when I need to remind myself of…
The ripple.

We headed out on this trip knowing that we lack the skills to provide essential services like healthcare, but hoping to be able to make a difference simply as capable, open-minded, willing, able-bodied people. We headed out on this trip because…

We believed in the ripple.

Maybe we can't make someone’s life better in the short time we have here but I think we have made some days better. Maybe we can’t change the world, but maybe we can make it a little brighter. And sometimes, maybe that is enough?

I have to believe in the ripple.

Did painting a mural change a child’s life? Did it make a child laugh out loud? Did playing a game fill a tummy, heal a wound, or clothe a body? Did it bring joy to someone today? Sometimes we get so carried away and put so much pressure on justifying our time, judging our success based on the goal of achieving lasting, tangible change. While I ultimately agree with this measure of success…

I also still believe in the ripple.

Sometimes it is about the single, solitary interactions. And that has to be ok. Small acts of kindness (making a child laugh, listening to a grandmother talk, providing an outlet for a friend, teaching a lesson), no matter how small the acts, they do matter. I believe in the spreading results of solitary interactions.

I believe in the ripple.

I believe that taking great care in doing something, anything, will help make our world just a little bit brighter. In the face of the despair and the sense of hopelessness, I believe that what we are doing is worth it. Being surrounded by life here that seems impossible for some and difficult for most, we find ourselves hoping that we change someone’s day, someone’s hour, someone’s now.

Though sometimes I even need to remind myself,
I do still believe in the ripple.


  1. I believe in the ripple that you two are making and I believe that the ripple no matter how big or small does make a difference. Keep it up you two. You are making a difference, not only over there but at home too. We Love you!! Keep up the good work.

  2. Having finally gotten to "Check out Nicole and Troy's blog" on my list of things to do. I started out reading a couple of entries, and before I knew it had plowed thru your entire trip in one weekend. It is amazing how in your trip you have gone on such hysical as well as emotional adventures. Keep your heads up, the joy you bring to the kids you work with will stay with them forever, and give them a positve memory in what sounds like a very difficult environment.

  3. hi guys you are doing a wonderful job keep it up. you have made a huge ripple in so many things this past few months awesome. big and small. take care keep going . love mom

  4. Your experiences touched 19 grade three students - motivated them to run a penny drive to buy stuff for a Costa Rica school. The ripple is alive and well - no worries.

    Do what you can, with what you have, to the best of your abilities.

    And you ARE making a difference - walking the walk!

  5. All I can say is WOW!
    Hope your mom has arrived safely by now. (We talked to her during her touch down in Minneapolis.)
    Keep making those ripples and rocking my boat!
    Love you both.

  6. Can't wait for you to come home and share your ripples with the people here who need a little Dic and Farn in their worlds!!!!

  7. That ripple is being felt around the world. What wondrous things you two have experienced and shared with those you've met.
    I am so happy that Jeanne made the trip to be with you! Tell her hello from me.

    Aunt Paula

  8. Ripple On. . . Ripple on!