Friday, June 5, 2009

Poverty is relative

Poverty is relative, even in Pokuase. At first glance, almost everyone seems poor. Most homes are one or possibly two rooms, in need of paint, with no electricity or running water. If you can see beyond this lack of amenities, there is a kind of wealth that is often unfamiliar to us. It is a social wealth: people connecting to people, people caring about people, people sharing their lives. If you are lucky, you are surrounded by your family and friends, and you are able to say you have enough.

Not everyone has enough. Some people drink polluted water because they cannot afford to buy clean water. Many people eat primarily carbohydrates, because it cheaply fills their bellies and the bellies of their children. Many children cannot go to school, because their families cannot afford the costs of fess, uniforms, and books.

This is why there are so many of us there – trying to somehow make a difference in this cycle of poverty.

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