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Miss Geneva E. Tolliferreo, M.Ed.'s picture

All My Boxes...

...this is a great name for a Serendip Soap Opera!

Hello Friends. A special greeting to the Brain and Behavior colleagues I shared this past Summer's session with (2007).

Soooo much has happen since I was last with all of you. The details I realized are my boxes and I thought these experiences (in part) may be interesting to post.

I was blessed to have sponsors to send me to Guyana, South America for a mission trip with my church. Little did I know how rewarding the experience would be, knowing I would be going to a 2nd world country. A proud people in the face of health, employment, nourishment, housing, and financial challenges...these issues know no color. Governed by Hindu, the additional races include African, Portuguese, and Indian...all Americans...South Americans.

In brief, and sticking to the issue of Education, children learn as teachers teach in conditions that are clean and equip with almost antiquated desks and chairs, small classrooms, used and reused materials, limited texts and resources, and limited clothing including uniforms. The children, oh the children, are bright, intelligent, happy, and very eager to come to the United States of America for what they believe will be a much better life filled with opportunities. They seem oblivious to the devastations of crime, in that they are willing to take a chance on making here since they overcome so much in their home land.

A beautiful country, it starves for attention to 21st (even 20th) century trash, garbage, and recycle collection; proper water filtration and drainage; substantial public transportation (buses instead of vans hauling in the midst of small cars and trucks beeping horns in every direction everywhere and horse drawn flatbeds hauling people and things). Landscaping is a non-essential need, except for the parks and private properties which manage to secure workers as needed often enough to maintain for the most part.

This is there home. They are proud of it, take care of it, respect it, and love it. The Guyana natives truly believe, "little is much because God is in it". The smiles of the people are endearing. They could not do enough to make our stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our stay was pleasant and comfortable...it truly was.

We, as a world of humans, share so many boxes. We take pride in what is ours. We are willing to share what we have with others. We share our heartaches as well. And isn't that what family does? We are all a part of this global family and if we embraced we each other, everywhere, as the Guyana people embraced our mission contingency, this world would be free of hate, crimes, theft, lies, and all of the other ills of the world, such as no universal health care, the classes, and excessive tuition at 'the universities' that seek to keep the less fortunate due to finances and race outside of their hallowed courts.

As I complete work on my Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and Ministry, I chose not to take the shots that were recommended. Upon my return I suffered an bout with malaria and meningitis. This had me down for weeks, and I mean really down. Just as I began to rally back, I came down with the shingles. By this time I felt as though I had truly been beat up. The shingles, oh how painful. I take comfort in that fact that I had ‘a mild case’ of them. Well if a worse case is worse, and I’m sure it is...trust me I am counting my blessings!

I did finally breakdown and go to the hospital, because I was just that sick, so much so that I could not fully diagnose my own ailment. Although, I was close with my preliminary findings.

I was able to go to the hospital. A clean, bright, well equipped, fully staffed, state of the art medical facility, where everyone will be seen whether they have the money to pay or not. Sure you’ll get billed, but the more and most important issue is that you will get treated.

As a box with privileges that is connected to a country of boxes with very limited connections, all of my boxes come together in grief. It is inhumane to not grieve. How can I not grieve? Even now, just to submit this monologue, all the bittersweet memories flood back to the forefront of my soul’s memory. A wonder filled trip filled with humility and raised consciousness.

Wondering how I could help, how I could contribute to offering the people of Guyana an even greater hope in the future, I learned of The College of Biblical and Business Studies being established at this very moment. Normally I would not extend an invitation for financial support via this forum, but due to the severity of the need I am responsible to do just that. Contributions may be sent as follows:
New Covenant Church of Philadelphia
New Covenant Campus
7500 Germantown Ave.
Phila., PA 19119-7500
Attn: Mr. Albert Blackstock, Comptroller
Memo: Guyana College – Grannum
…thank you.

In conclusion, as I have written in this forum before, yes we are our ‘boxes’ keeper. Whether you are supporting a box in Guyana, your family, or your community…there is always more to do. As long as there are ‘boxes’ with needs, there is more to do. Our ‘boxes’ are inter and intra connected and we all affected and effected by how we support all of our ‘boxes’. The more support the stronger.

Well, as my intra ‘boxes’ heal, my inter ‘boxes’ need to heal. I am more well. I am less ill. Guyana afforded me the opportunity to get ‘it’ more right and less wrong. The children of Guyana ‘get it’, that Education is a way to enable and empower them to help build up and support their country. Their hearts' desire is to earn a United States or British education and return to Guyana to help their country.

Proof of this was a Black doctor who came to treat two of the young ladies that became very ill during the trip. She was educated in North America, with the intention of returning to her native South America to aide her country via her profession. Bravo!

Thank you for reading the story of ‘all my boxes’.

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