Sunday, May 5, 2013

So many kids & poor on the streets that we want to help in Sucre, Bolivia

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Make no mistake.
Sucre is beautiful.
The old city is glorious.
But as we visit, we pass many old ladies and men sitting and begging.
Dogs wander the streets.
But it is the begging children that we are drawn to.

We both bought new jackets for the freezing conditions of Uyuni Salt Flats.
But considering we only had use of them for 1/2 hour the first evening they are like new.
In Sucre, we have discovered the markets.
New and pre-loved clothes by the tons.

Here food is so inexpensive.
Fresh home-made crisps / chips and popcorn is a great snack for 50 cents or a $1 a bag.
Whilst we are at the markets, my son sees a lady mistreating her small child.
He has bruises and sores on his face.
It is pretty obvious from the whimpers he has been bashed.
He goes straight up, and tells her in his limited Spanish to STOP.
Several times I have seen him do this.
It always works too.
Goo on him - I say!

So, we find a great athletic store of new clothes.
We have always wanted Gortex jackets, and we get two for under $100.
So we decide to go out and find some street people to give our 'as new' warm jackets to.
The ones we had bought for Uyuni Salt Flats that is.
We find a family peeling and stripping corn cobs on a street corner.
My son selects this boy as his choice.
He was quite dirty, and so pleased to have the jacket.

We were about to wander off and up walks his sister.
With the mothers prompting she tries on my jacket.
She is shy, but she puts it on and it is a near perfect fit.
We are so pleased, and as we walk off we feel a lightness in our spirit.
We do love to give and help the poor.

Next is this lady.
There is a bus strike and she has few customers for her ice-cream sales.
My son runs up to the little girl.
We notice she also has a baby.
We talk about how blessed we are, and how little others have.
How hard she must work for a few Bolivianos.

But the little beggar girl that stole our hearts is this one.
Over a few days she has run up and held her hand out to us.
She seems alone.
Incredibly dirty, yet the happiest little beggar I have seen.
First off my son wants to give her his pocket money.

He so loves children.
They laugh and tickle each other and have a great time.
He does not judge.
(After he comes for antiseptic gel for his hands though).

Just out of town, many live in old and run-down conditions.

There is a complete mix of old and new in Sucre.
You can ride the bus for 15 cents.
Most shop in the markets.
People sell anything they can find on the street corners on a little mat.

Again on our last day we find our little beggar girl.
They race straight up and have their tickle and laugh time together.

We race off and find her a nice chocolate covered ice-cream ...
... from a tourist gourmet chocolate store.
Probably the most expensive ice-cream she will ever eat.
We head straight back and find her.
She is talking with an old beggar nearby.

These are the real joys of travel.
I think it is more joy to us than to others.

We cannot change the world.
We cannot change a city.
We cannot change a suburb.
But we can help to change a few minutes of a little girls life.

As we stand with her at the end we pray for her.
I pray she grows up to have love and care in her life; 
a good education; and one day a good job.
I pray that the light in her smile doesn't die out.
Because her smile lit our lives, and touched our hearts.

If you are reading this, I hope you appreciate what you do have in life.
There is always some-one worse off than you are.
Reach out.
Do some small thing to make some-one else's life a little happier.
It will give you joy, and lightness in your spirit.

NOTE: We share our giving to encourage others to do small things to change the world
 - not to boast in any form.

We thank Arturo at Hosteling International for their excellent prices, great service, and help when we had delays in this town - a wonderful man.
We recommend this hostel to stay in.

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