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December 2, 2004


I´m back again.  I´m at class, 15 minutes after start time, and still the only student here!  So I decided to hop onto Leandro´s computer and share a few more thoughts.

On my way here, the sweet blond girl who works at the Kodak store got onto the same bus I was riding–on her way home from work I assume.  As I watched her look out the window, her long hair tucked into a banana clip, I wondered where she was going home to.  She looks about my age, perhaps a bit younger, so to not be in school during the day means she probably comes from a poorer background than the students that should be here in the classroom with me now.  Does she live in one of the informal neighborhoods like Cris and Kelly? 

It´s so hard to tell here because even those with little money tend to dress stylishly, even if they only have 7 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a skirt or two.  For example, yesterday when I was eating x-carnes with Cris and Kelly out in Passo Dorneles, an airline stewardess in her spotless, ironed outfit walked by the little restaurant.  Imagine the next airline stewardess you see–primped, pretty, and polite–going home to a tiny, plankwood house with curtains separating the bedrooms from the slanting living room and kitchen.  The house is in a beautiful setting–the flowering hills and valleys outside of the city–but the services she receives are totally inadequate.  No paved streets.  Perhaps no sewer system.  Schools with second-hand desks and chalkboards and no computers.  It´s hard to imagine someone who seems so normal living like that, isn´t it?

Yet that´s how millions of Brazilians live.  And millions of Mexicans.  And even millions of Americans.  That´s how Cris and Kelly live, the two girls in my capoeira group who remind me so much of my FISH kids in State College. 

It´s not fair for so many hard-working, everyday people to go home to so much less at night than we do because there ARE enough resources in this world to go around.  Those of us who are touched by these stories cannot wait for the economy to change or our governments to change–we must change.  We must use our skills and our resources to do our best to bring access to others, whether through volunteering our own services, choosing to work for socially focused companies or agencies, or simply sharing what we have through meaningful donations–not fifty dollars a year, but really giving up some of our own luxuries to make sure that someone else has enough to get by. 

There are so many ways to help.  If you need ideas, ask me.  It´s a lot easier to change this world than most people think.





From → Brazil, Uncategorized

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