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Reality check

Written on: Friday August 24th, 2007

A journal entry from: See you next year!

When travelling to developing countries you will inevitable see the, sometimes extreme, poverty (and richness for that matter) some people live in. Except maybe, when you go to some all-inclusive beach resort which you never leave except to go to and/from the airport. But even then you will probably see a glimpse of what I mean.

This poverty can express itself in many ways, which all but one I won´t describe here. On our last part on the boat down the Amazon we saw a lot of canoes like on this picture. These canoes, filled with 1 to 4 children, sometimes the oldest no more then six(?), sometimes with an older female but more often not, sometimes shouting and waving, all came rushing towards our boat, sometimes too late, hoping for the passengers to throw some clothing or food overboard. And this went on for almost a whole day. It was an incredible and saddening sight. It puts you back in reality for a moment and lets you realize how different life can be. No mother in the Netherlands would ever let/send(?) her 6 year old girl and 2 year old son (as we witnessed) in a canoe up the Amazon to peddle towards a big passengership in the hope to get some goods. And since it looks dangerous as well, with the waves coming from the ship and all, I wonder if/how many people die doing it.

Even now, more than a month later, it makes me feel sad when writing about it. But life goes on, and so were we. And when thinking about these 9 days travelling on a boat on the Amazon I think of it in many respects as an unforgettable experience. Mostly good, and one bad.





From Riet Meeder on Oct 9th, 2007

Very moving story and at the same time beautiful pictures of the children in the canoes.