Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Puente Trip: Neiva and San Agustín, The Series- Part 3: The Children of Salto de Bordones

Sometimes in life you experience something that changes your outlook on life.... well, it happened to me!

As mentioned before in the previous blog post, during my first day in san Agustìn, I had the opportunity to do a jeep tour to different sites. One of my stops on the tour was El Salto de Bordones, a majestic waterfall that falls some 400 meters surrounded by high mountains and thick vegetation. Whilst in the midst of nature´s magnificence, I couldn´t help but notice the little girl that was telling us the story about the waterfall in the hopes of earning some pesos. She was probably no more than eleven years old, brown skinned, dressed in pink from head to toe and dirty as though she had been playing in the dusty streets all day. She was surrounded by other children, most of them younger than her, looking up to her like a mother figure and all of them bearing the obvious signs of poverty. Later on we would learn that they were displaced children that came to the Salto in the hopes of earning some pesos from tourists that visited the area. Immediately, I felt a sense of immense pity and sadness for them but at the same time I had to marvel at their innocence. There they were; running, jumping, rolling around, hiding, smiling and talking, just being children unbeknownst to the gravity of their situation. They took us down some steps so that we could get a closer look at the waterfall and it was there standing on a rock thingy, looking at these children interacting with my friends that I started to think.

I don´t mean to sound insensitive but I am truly blessed to have a good family and although I´m by no means a rich person, to have had all my basic needs provided for throughout my life. These children have limited or no resources to access their basic needs but yet, they are happy in their own way. They truly taught me to be grateful for all that I have been given- a family, friends, this opportunity- and not to whine and complain when Mummy cooks something I don´t like or when my jeans don´t fit me properly or when things don´t go way. Things that are SO trivial compared to what these children face on a daily basis. Furthermore, I realised that I have to find some way of giving back. If it means mentoring a child, volunteering at some organization, sponsoring a child or just doing something worthwhile without the prospect of monetary gain, I HAVE TO do something. Any suggestions?

Basically, I want all my readers to be grateful for what they have been given in this life. Sure, we always find something that isn´t perfect in our lives and we want changed. But many of us take for granted what we have and instead, continually focus on those things we lack. Why be unhappy and have high blood pressure? I´m not saying don´t strive for excellence and work for what you want but do that without the constant bitching and moaning. I am definitely going to try this and I implore you to do the same. If ever you feel the need to bitch, moan, whine and complain about the inadequacies in your life, think about the Children of Salto de Bordones.