Tonight I am sitting up on the balcony, swatting away the bugs, drinking coffee and thinking about life. Yes, life and how much I have to be thankful for. I have seen poverty but never to the extreme that I have witnessed here in India. I went on my first missions trip to Belize when I was 13 and experienced what life was like for the orphans living in an orphanage. In high school, I went on two trips to rural Mexico where I assisted the missionaries with vacation Bible school and helped build a house. I even lived in Haiti for a semester during college where I worked at a rural school. But somehow, India is different.
Why? Maybe it's because this is a city environment and it seems more extreme? At least in Haiti there were natural resources for the locals to eat like fish from the ocean or mangos from the trees. Don't get me wrong, there were/are starving people in Haiti but here it's more "slum-like." Hey, I know that's not a word but I'm throwing away proper English here BECAUSE I CAN. :)
Today I witnessed the most heart-wrenching thing. Visualize this: I was riding down the street in a tuk-tuk and it was pouring rain. A man, who had no use of his legs, was crawling through the streets begging for money. I thought my heart was going to break and I felt so guilty for ever complaining about my life or the things that are "lacking." I gave him money but I thought to myself, I wish I could give you so much more.
I seem to be an easy target for the beggar children. I don't blame them...white American female walking by herself. Yesterday an adorable boy came up to my tuk-tuk with a mud stained face and bare feet. He couldn't speak English but he rubbed his belly and pretended to eat imaginary food. Of course, I gave him money...