Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I don't even know his name

For some reason I cannot upload any photos with this internet connection that I have in my house. It is driving me crazy. I never leave home without the camera, and I have taking pictures of just about everything here. So I am on the lookout for a satellite internet card...hopefully I find one soon so I can visually share my experiences with you. But for now, all you can have is words.

  If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then I have alot of writing to do! I will tell you a snippet of what occured yesterday...

Remember the boy who washed my flip-flops in the ocean? I saw him yesterday, in an area that Meghan and I refer to as "downtown" - if there is such a thing as a downtown here, this is where we were having a late breakfast and coffee at our favorite trendy gringo cafe. Meghan pointed him out as we were leaving, and he recognised us and came over to say Hola. School is still out because of Semana Santa, so he was out and about with his shoe-shine box trying to earn some pesos. He is 10 years old, roaming the streets alone trying to scrape together a meal. Sadly, this is all too common here.

  He is the cutest little boy I have ever seen, and I wanted to do something to help him. He was going to El Cortecito, which is the nearby beach strip of shops. We were all going in the same direction so we asked him if he wanted to come with us on the gua-gua (bus). If not for us, he likely would have walked, 30 minutes in the scorching sun to get to Cortecito. I paid 20 pesos for his gua-gua fare - less than a dollar. When we arrived in Cortecito, I asked him if he was hungry, and of course he was, so we took him to a friends restaurant and I bought him some dominican food (rice, beans, pasta salad, chicken) and water. Then we went our seperate ways.

  He went to find his friends, and I have no doubt that he will share that meal with all of them. In my culture, as a child, everything is "mine, mine, mine" We have to be taught to share, and as we get older there is still a sense of ownership, and giving things away without expecting anything in return is difficult at best. But here, that concept does not exist. Sharing is done without condition, without even a second thought. And yet, this is the third world country. The civilized world could learn so much from them...

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