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The Day I Stopped Whining About My Poverty.

Last Updated on 4 years by Iva Ursano

(Note:This blog was written in May of 2015.)

Well, I’m now wrapping up 3 weeks of volunteering in what could quite possibly be the most beautiful place on earth. The emotions I am feeling are indescribable but I will do my best.

When I got down here I was scared, anxious, nervous, somewhat annoyed by many things and often felt like I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. Yup, the first week was challenging. It wasn’t all bad, there was some good, but it was all very overwhelming.

Week 2

By week 2, I was settling in nicely. Making some friends, getting comfy in my host house with the family here, appreciating my room and, yes, even the rooster. (I spared him his life and he did not become dinner) I had embarked on a few adventures and completely stepped out of my comfort zone many times. Yes, by week 2, things were falling into place.

Week 3

By week 3, I started really paying attention to the things around me. How simple life is here, how poor my host family was (and many others here) and how I actually was a blessing to them. I bought food for the house many times, even though my room and board was already paid in full, which included meals, and bought a coffee maker for the house when theirs broke down in the middle of week 2.

The first time I bought food I was annoyed. I’ll be totally honest here. I kept thinking “Why the hell should I be buying food when I already paid for 3 meals a day?? This is ridiculous!!” Yes. I thought that. Shame on me. It wasn’t until week 3 that it became crystal clear.

Crystal clear that the money they actually received didn’t go very far. I had no idea. What I did have an idea of was the fact that they had no money and I had some. A little, but definitely more than them. That’s all that mattered and that’s all that should have mattered. Period. I finally got it.

Angels among us.

One nite me and my host mom sat at the kitchen table talking. She told me how she prayed to God to send an Angel of Abundance and He brought me to them. I cried. And cried. And cried. And I was so ashamed of myself for all the horrible thoughts I previously had about “having to buy food”. Shame on me indeed. I was an Angel of Abundance and I had no clue.

I’ve struggled financially most of my life (and all you Law Of Attraction people can just settle down for one minute) and I’ve always worried about money. 3 weeks in Costa Rica has shown me that I’m rich, fortunate and blessed with everything I have in my life which, I’ve always thought, isn’t very much at all. Was I wrong.

Eyes wide open.

What an eye opener. This whole experience has given me more lessons than I bargained for. I had no clue that my whole life, and the way I viewed life, would change after 3 weeks. This very simple, easy and somewhat poor life in Atenas, Costa Rica isn’t so bad after all. In fact, it’s pretty freakin’ awesome. People are happy, loving and kind. And beautiful. So beautiful.

I will return. I will definitely return. Next time I will stay longer. And I will give and share as freely and generously as God will allow me to. From the heart, expecting nothing in return.

Except maybe some mangoes or coconuts.

Please, give from the heart, do not ask questions and expect nothing in return. You quite possibly could be someone’s Angel Of Abundance.

Peace and Love!

Iva ♥

(this post contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase I make a small commission but the best part of that is the more I make, the more hungry bellies I can feed here in Guatemala-win win!!)

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  1. A wonderful, inspiring account of your journey – some soul searching required after reading your thoughts.

  2. Thank you Marion. It’s been a truly amazing and eye opening experience for me. Thank you for popping by on my wall too! :)

  3. Your right, I choked up bad. How often we take for granted what we have, always complaining and searching for dirt instead of the gold right in front of us.

  4. I had a similar trip to Senegal. West Africa. After awhile I realized how much more joy they had in their lives, with nothing, they always smile, they know life is one day at a time, no guarantees

  5. Hi John, thanx for popping by! :) It definitely is an eye opener, right? I am looking forward to returning to Central America this winter. I’ll stay longer this time, my Spanish will be better and I will be able to fully experience the life there. Have you gone on any other trips? Any more in the future?

  6. Thank you; I really needed to read this today! I am questioning my purpose and believe your article has helped me. Thank you!

  7. Hey Susan I’m so glad to hear that!! It took this trip to CR for me to know what my true purpose is. Keep me posted on how things progress for you!! :)

  8. That was very heartfelt. I guess it takes stepping completely away from anything your used to doing to find yourself as well as your meaning/purpose in life. I’ve heard so many say if they stayed in their natural habitat just moved to different state chances of fnding their true self again or purpose would be unlikely. When you step into a place of uncomfortable… then you focus, pay attention and redirect on things you’ve taken for granted. Love this. Am pleased and myself think you are very blessed to acknowledge why you were put where you were and made the best of yourself for yourself. You proved to your past you don’t need them to survive, further more without them you can go further. That alone will say more than any words ever will. Your a strong, determined woman. Many including myself look up to you. Stay strong, happy, beautiful and smiling. Giving smiles and showing care is contaigous, spread that everywhere. ? Shine on and be awesome!!❤?

  9. I had this feeling in Myanmar. People there are poor yet happy and willing to share everything they have with a smile.

    1. Oh I’d love to go there. My son was there and loved it! xoxo

  10. Life is so simple and we just need to see it. Im overwhelmed after reading this article. Basically, travel gives loads of experience and new friends. And i think, you have found your purpose at Costa Rica.

    1. I’m in Guatemala now and hope to make it to Peru soon. I found my purpose in a big way xoxo Thank you Meera

  11. This is definitely true. When I visit ‘third world’ countries (I hate saying that btw) it always reminds me of how fortunate I am. Here I am with a roof over my head, living in an apartment in downtown Toronto with a beautiful view. The sun is shining. I just had a wonderful lunch of scrambled eggs. I will be going for a walk soon to pick up some vitamins and some stuff for Easter. I’m loved and cared for. I have running water I can use anytime (and abuse with long showers, guilty). We are blessed. And we need to give some of it when we travel. Spread the love.

  12. This is something I wish I could relate to. I struggle with money a lot, but that’s nothing compared to your host family here, or millions of others around the world. I often think about volunteering for people in need but always stop because it “costs” so much to volunteer! Your post definitely challenges those beliefs in a way they needed to be challenged.

    1. You’re right, it does sometimes cost a lot to volunteer. I wish it wasn’t so, so more people could do it xoxo

  13. When you put yourself in the other persons shoes,it brings a lot of things into perspective.Great post.

  14. Wow, what an amazing experience. Sometimes it is good to go back to basics and just enjoy the life and little things. It happened to me after I had my second baby. I was so sad after having to leave my job, to be home everyday, not able to travel much… even though everything in my life was fine. After the baby arrived, just seeing her smile, going for a walk in the nature everyday, enjoying the sun, and all the small things gives me so much joy! Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Thank you Paula! xoxo Glad you enjoyed it :)

    1. You’re so right. Thank you Basundhara xoxo

  15. What an inspiring story you have here in this place. Sometimes we just like to complain even if we have enough already. I’m glad everything turned out to be a good journey for you. Costa Rica is actually in my bucket list.

    1. Costa Rica is nice but I really love Guatemala ;) Thanx for stopping by xoxo

  16. I love that you accepted it and were determined about it! Sometimes the best way to overcome something is to charge it head on! :)

  17. Beautiful.. I know exactly what you mean buy struggling financially and then realizing your life is not all that bad and that you do actually have enough. I often feel that way when I watch a film from some distant areas, true stories from Africa or elsewhere… I always feel ashamed. But yeah, experiencing this first hand, must be pretty intense!

    1. It really is Monika. Thanx for stopping by! xoxo

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