On the heels of going to El Salvador and recently spending some time with a few of my Salvadorian cousins in Philadelphia I went to Bolivia to shoot a short documentary for an organization called Fey y Alegria.
My initial few days back from Bolivia were that of excitement to see family and friends. However, I was also more sensitive to what people were saying when I heard phrases like "I need..." or "I want..." What people want and need are astounding when you see people walking thirty miles to school with a smile on their face or washing their cloths in a bucket with their feet like their mashing grapes for wine.
I imagine it's how a homeless person, a real homeless person, looks up at people with successful careers or just new ANYTHING. When I heard those phrase of "I need..." and "I want..." I immediately thought "no you don't" or "you can wait". I'd like to hold on to that idea and constantly have that sense of contentment and knowledge that what we really need is extremely minimal.
I'm firmly in the middle class and am often in front of new technology and am "in the market" for all the new anythings out there but when I get in a culture like that of Bolivia, I think of how easily we get caught up in that and how easy I think it would be for me to give it all up again and live an easier life. My father, however, states "there's more to life than just "EXISTING"". I suppose he's right.
Coming back from a trip like this it's hard not to feel somewhat guilty, like I didn't earn what I have, that I just want to give it all to them, however, like a few of the members mentioned to me, "it's what we do with our gifts after this experience" that will define how we truely can help others in need. Just sitting back and saying "yeah that sucks for them" isn't enough. It's not even a cohearant thought! It's rude honestly! They are some of the proudest and strong people I've met. You try to do anything at 15,000 feet, do it! You won't!
Here are some photos of the trip and please check out Fey y Alegria and get inspired