A blog about all and nothing
I wanted to start this post using some kind of bombastic name. Today’s experience had such a big impact on me, and I wanted to share this with you, wanted to shock you, to draw you attention.
But I realise: if it is one thing I learned today, is that the beauty of life resides in simple things.
You probably saw articles/ footages about slums. Some affected reporters speaking about the horrors of such an existence. Nowadays media likes to constantly shock in order to gain more and more viewers, readers. The shocking the news, the bigger the quota. And bigger quotas translate into bigger profits. And bigger profits mean…. well, you get the point.
What I saw today were not people having a desperate existence, I didn’t see fear, depression and I certainly didn’t notice any kind of bad vibes. Instead of that we were welcomed with a smile 🙂 The kids took us immediately (some right by the hand) to show us their homes. They live in improvised constructions (I am not even sure the name construction is an appropriate one), surrounded by a mess which is hard to describe. Dogs and cats round up the picture.
It was 10 o’clock in the morning and people were at work. They sew pillows and covers for the bed. It’s a work they do with the help of some old sewing machines. One of the younger guys is some sort of handyman and fixing one of the machines.
These people come from a different village/ region, but because of the lack of jobs and maybe customers for their handmade products, they chose to live in a slum for 6 months/ year and then they go back to their houses/ or to a different slum. It is of course very hard to provide some sort of constant education for the children. They can’t go to school.
While the parents were doing their ‘jobs’, the children were playing around. Taking into consideration that today was HOLI (festival of colour), we brought them bags with colours and we had, of course, a super fun fight 🙂
Off to the next slum…. we see there a similar image. Difficult conditions to live in, but the same state of peace. We threw again colours at each other. We were all super dirty, but with wide smiles on our faces.
At one point I was walking around, saying (mostly for myself) that I’m out of colours. 3 boys (ages 5-9 years old) immediately came and offered me their bags with colour. You can’t imagine the feeling I had in that moment! Until that point they were chasing me around, aiming for my face. But the second I said I am out of colour, they just wanted to give me theirs. It was like… these kids have nothing and yet find the power to share. How amazing is that??? You see… these are things you don’t necessarily expect. Basically you have no idea what to expect when embarking on such a journey. But then these things happen and warm your heart and make you consider your existence from a different perspective.
Life in the slums is not ‘breaking news’, it is just life. With good and bad, with beauty and ugly, with happiness and sadness (I didn’t see the sadness, but I guess it exists), with sharing. And perhaps this people are better at sharing than most of us. Because they know how it is not to have anything and that even then, they’ll find a way to carry on.