It’s funny when you’re a writer / blogger and you get “stuck,” with that awful writer’s block that plagues us all on occasion, you simply want to pull your hair out. So you wander around aimlessly awaiting that little spark of a miracle. That miracle came in the form of a young lady tonight from my hometown. We were chatting away about her up-coming trip to Mexico when the conversation took a turn to my blog.
We talked about some of my articles. It’s was sort of a feel-good thing. She mentioned that some of the things I write about, or that we talk about, are not the usual things we know of, or that we think of being Canadian. Not that we so much take things for granted but we simply don’t know, or we are so far removed from things like abject poverty that yes, we know it exists but we really just don’t “get” it.
But, when you have a friend that has 1st hand experience, or the proximity there-of, that makes it all the more real. For example, many in the real world only think of the poor in Africa hauling water from a well. Very few in the 1st world realize that many in the Dominican Republic don’t have a well to go to, that they haul it from the river or creek closest to their house, or the public “pool” that they use for bathing is really only a dammed up section of a creek. Hot water is only something to cook in and not for bathing or dishes or doing laundry. Many don’t realize that shanty houses are common here. Nor that many live with walls of corrugated zinc that they call home. Many don’t realize that though public healthcare (such as it is), is free but medicines are not, and that there is virtually no help for the costs other than their own families contributing. When you see people going to their local colmado and buying their shampoo in 5 or 10 peso increments and that it’s put in a plastic bag, because there is no money in their coffers, you truly realize that here, 10 pesos equal to 25 cents is a big expenditure. There are so many more things that it boggles the mind.
I’m lucky, I live in a descent home by Canadian standards, though, lol, I too don’t have hot water. It’s hot here. I’m always hot, therefore no hot water is not a huge issue, though, I would love to have a good soak in a bathtub now and then. I am simply lucky to be alive and have received superior medical care here compared to my own country even though I pay a monthly premium for insurance.
What I am most lucky for, that she kindly reminded me of, is that I am blessed to have gotten to experience living here. And that is because I get to see both sides, all sides as there are more than only two sides to living and survival here. Thanks Brit my friend for this valuable reminder. I appreciate what I have and what I don’t have. Living many of the same problems of no water and no electricity at times, waiting in line … for EVERYTHING, dealing with far fewer products than accustomed to, I appreciate so much more simple efficiency. More importantly I appreciate and have empathy for those that are less fortunate. I’ve seen far too much and yet, not enough. I am greatly appreciative for the simple things and the luxuries. But most of all, it warms my heart to see people that have nothing display radiant smiles of happiness and to listen to their infectious laughter as though they haven’t a care in the world.
I told my partner last night, “without bad times, how on earth would you know to appreciate the good times.” God has blessed me in many ways.
Listen to the palms …
© Loca Gringa and https://locagringa.wordpress.com