My recent bout with an infection had me on two different medications that came with some not so pleasant side effects. Medication number 1 left me feeling pretty spacey, both meds caused my skin to itch if I was in the sun for too long and both meds had this little warning "you may experience ____ however, it may not occur until several weeks after ending the medication." I'm very thankful that this side effect didn't occur last week. It would have been very, very unpleasant. I am not a fan of this side effect.
It seems that many things in life have side effects. Spending time in a different time zone means that when I return to PST my inner clock is off and my sleeping patterns are funky for a few days. Spending time browsing my favorite blogs cuts into my prep time for groups, which has the side effect of my brain scrambling for the right words when I'm in that teaching moment. Everything has a side effect. Some are not so good but then there are those that are good.
Taking teams to Pearlington to help with Hurricane Katrina Recovery work has had an amazing side effects. I've found that I like this! I can be a missionary, in some sense of the word! Students who were uninterested in helping people before are eager for opportunities to help people. We are more compassionate when we see reports of devastation and destruction and quickly wonder "is that where we are going next?"
Hurricane Katrina has had amazing side effects on the people in Gulf Coast as well. Every time we go, I see more instances of neighbors helping neighbors despite race or wealth. We get the feeling that before the storm, there was a separation of people because of those issues. Papa Bear, Yo Momma and I were talking about the side effects of Hurricane Katrina and we all wondered if in 5-10 years the attitudes about race and gender will have been affected because of the breakdown of some of those barriers, neighbors helping neighbors, volunteers coming in of all races and genders to accomplish the same goals. It may not happen but it's interesting to ponder.
One of the side effects of our recovery work in Mississippi is that we have learned new skills. We have been "edumacated", as Mr. Ben would say, and feel like we need an outlet here at home for those skills to keep the honed for our next adventures but also to help out the people in our own neighborhoods. Soon we will start "Mississippi at Home". We will offer our services to help those around us spruce up their own homes using our new found knowledge to make a difference right here. I think it's going to be a great side effect!