A group of us sat around the chimenia on the patio of Mimi's House tonight, watching the smoke swirl out of the top of the stack. As the wind shifted we all took turns leaning away from the smoke. The white-hot coals had burned down to a soft glow that warmed our feet. Pacaya hid from us tonight behind a wall of fog that was left over from the intense rain storm that swept across the land this afternoon. Lights from the city below seemed to reflect the stars above and the moon sat high above it all.
Cerro Alto was a level of poverty that I had not encountered. I hesistate to describe it though, because I do not want to convey the wrong impression of the people we met. These people, who had nothing... were hopeful. While they were acutely aware of their circumstance, they were also filled with happiness.
How long have you chased happiness?
We met a boy, Marvin who was 14 years old and experiencing severe scholiosis. We met a couple in their 80s who served as the caregivers of all the children in the neighborhood while the moms and dads were away either gathering the needs of the day or working. Sometimes life requires to be away for days at a time. We walked through homes made of scrap and plastic and old cloth. We saw children who were experiencing malnutrion, infestation, and illness.
|A typical example of a family residence in Cerro Alto|
What is it that you need to one day finally be happy?