A life changing experience

Arequipa Travel Blog

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This is a letter that I wrote to myself while in Peru this past August....im sure there are many spelling and grammer errors and I could have written it better. But thats not the point....

I have decided to write myself an email today simply because I have not written in my journal on a daily basis, actually pretty much at all, and I need to write about the days that I have yet written about. But I cannot let today go by, rather this very hour without writting about this esceptionally special day. Siya and I went to visit the family that we had spent a few hours with last week. This family is very special. They are kind and friendly and caring and were extremelly excited that we were spending the day with them. The family has 6 children who are 3, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 16, a mother and a father. The yougest child named Precia was born without the abilty to walk. This problem could be fixed if only they had the money so she could get an operation that would allow her the abilty to walk. However, this is not any ordinary family. I mean this in both a negative and positive way. Not only are they a family that I will never forget for their kindness for welcoming Siya and I into their house to film them and get to know them but this is a family that lives in extreme poverty. When Siya and I first arrived in their neighborhood, we realized that this was going to be an experience like no other. As you looked around you would see houses with roofs made of metal scraps and walls made of dried lava and a type of spant that they had weaved together. As we arrived at the house of the family we were welcomed by the mother and two of her daughters. Two of her sons we had picked up from school just before. They had huge smiles on their face and literelly sparkles in their eyes as they hugged us and gave the traditional kiss on the cheek. We waked into what you could call their back yard which was a dirt floor surrounded by stone. Their were toys on the ground that belonged to the children. But these werent toys that children in canada beg their parents for, these were old batteries and broken barbie dolls that Im sure were found in the garbage. Their toilet was also in the backyard behind a piece of wood and looked like it had also been found in the garbage because it was all broken apart. Not very private at all and no where for feces to go after they ended up in the toilet ( at least thats what it smelt like ). The mother called upon the father to come and greet us but he was nervous to face us and hid inside the house which was one room which 5 of them slept in. The father finally came out unable to look either os us in the ey at first. We gave hima hug and told him to let him know we were happy to be there with him and his family for the day. I had a chance to look in the small room they called home. It consist of 2 small beds, 2 chairs, a small table and a pile of their only belongings on one side of the room. All of their belongings looked like they had come from the garbage. Outside was an area where the mother did the cooking and another small room for the 3 brothers to sleep. The walls were made of stone, sand and old scraps and the roof was made of metal scraps. That day we had so much fun. We played with the children. We played volleyball and used the close line as a net. We made them a teter toter out of two peices of wood. They were espeically fascinated with our cameras and loved to see themselves in a picture or on tape. As we filmed the entire experience we learned a lot about each of their lives. They are so happy with the little they have and wanted to share the little food they had with us. The 5 year old girl told us she wants to be a film maker just like Siya and I when she grows up which just about broke my heart. All I kept thinking as I talked with each member of the fmaily was Ï can´t believe these people have so little yet they are so happy and smiling and laughing. That was a very special day for Siya and I and the most unforgettable experience. However I´m writting today because today we went back to visit the family and to give them the pictures of the family that we had took and developed. This must have been the first family pictures they have not only seen but have of themselves. When we arrived the family was not home, but we had seen the mother walking down the road with a shovel so we told her to get in the car and take us to where the family was. We went down the road to where the children and father were working. They were digging a line for a water pipe in order to make a little money. It kind of made me angry to see the father and older son working hard as the boss of the water company and his wife watched theem dig. They were all happy to see Siya and I. We gave them the picture that we had developed for them and they were very happy to see them. We learned about why they were digginf the water line. It wasnt only to make money but it was to make money sdo that that water line could actually be connected to their house so they would have water to drink everyday. The way that they were getting water was the mother walks miles with her baby on her back to get buckets of water which she carries back to her house everyday. In order to have the water pipe connected to their house they would need to pay 180 soles...thats 60 canadian dollars. That is way more then they could ever make. And the money that do make goes towards the little amount of food to feed all 8 of them. As we said goodbye to the family and were about to drive back to our hotel we realized that we needed to help this family. We got all of the money we had and put it together. We had 126 soles on us. We drove back to where the family was and learned that the work that they had saved 50 soles im guessing over a long period of time (thats 16 dollars). SIya and I gave the mother the 126 soles and told her that we wanted her to have it. That is the moment that I will never forget in my life. As we handed her the money, she covered her face and started to cry. She thanked us but then was speachless for words. She was crying with joy and it was the best feeling I have ever felt. That family now has enough money to have running water in front of their house. I really cant explain exactly how Im feeling right now because it doesnt have words. But I know that I have changed the lives of a very special family and not only that....they have changed mine and I am so greatful to them. I really feel like my life has just changed in the last 2 hours. From giving a family 45 dollars so that they can have water everyday. Something that we take for grantite. When we brush our teeth, we dont even turn off the water. When we shower we consume how much water. I wish all my best to the family and even though Siya and I leave tomorrow to another city in Peru I hope to come back to Arequipa and see the family again. I hope all of their dreams come true and I thank them once more for teaching me that you dont need a lot to be happy and by showing someone you care you can change a life or even 8. I also hope they know that they have changed mine.
justdenise says:
Thank God every day for what u have and always give and u shall always recieve! Thank you for your kindness! May God bless you always
Posted on: Nov 01, 2009
dicksiem says:
This is a great experience you had!!
Posted on: Apr 11, 2008
korrahh says:
good experiance.I never really know how to handle people crying out of gratitude (it happens a bit in my work)when I change their lives. Still, its touching everytime.
Posted on: Feb 19, 2008
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