A Village in the Amazon
When traveling in Brazil a few months ago, I made a quick 6-day stop in the Amazon. Although there were many highlights of the week I spent there, I’d like to emphasize my experience in a particular amazon village. Wooden houses, fruit plants, soccer fields were all common things one would encounter while walking through the it. But the one thing that really caught my attention were the kids living in that village.
But first, let me tell you what the difference is betweem a tribe and a village since I wasn’t really sure myself. A tribe is a social group of indigenous people from the area who are related by blood or marriage. They continue to practice their tribe’s rituals and religion and are normally disconnect from the rest of the society. A village, on the other hand, is a community of people. In the village I visited, you saw the mix of Indians and Europeans. They weren’t as dark as an Indian person would be and yes…they were fully dressed! But not, their faces weren’t painted!
Through my travels, I’ve visited quite a few villages in Europe, Mexico, South America and Asia. Unfortunately, I’ve seen poverty many times. And for some reason, it gets to me everytime. How kids who have so little still have smile on their face. How the boys help their dads hunt the food for that dinner and how the girls help their moms around their wooden house. But the kids still find time to play together and surprisingly, they still find a way to smile to the foreigner wandering around in their village. It’s funny because one feels happiness when they see the child’s smile but feel pain when staring into their eyes. In the meantime, kids from Western societies are home complaining to their parents about not wanting to eat the food on the table or for not having the most recent Playstation in their room.
Inequality is obvious when you begin traveling to non-Western societies. And let me tell you that it’s really frustrating when you go back home to hear people complain about nothing. Things that we take for granted would mean the world to someone else. So next time you complain about something, think about that little boy who needs to wake up at 4am to go hunting with his dad to eat that day.