CLawrence's Travel Journals

CLawrence Caitlin Lawrence

What was the saddest moment you have ever seen in your travels?

Seeing the different levels of poverty. Feeling like you are helping- but not being able to help everyone that you come in contact with.

  • 29 years old
  • From New York, United States
  • Currently in Urubamba, Peru

A day in the market

Some small stories

Stories from the market

Peru Urubamba, Peru  |  Jun 16, 2011
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Yesterday I spent the day in the market with Ernestina who is mainly in charge of making and selling water filters to the community of Urubamba. The water filters that we produce in ProPeru are extremely important for so many reasons. Families no longer have to boil every drink that they have. They can comfortably wash there teeth without having to worry about swallowing a drop of water. They can actually drink clean water and not get sick every day. We didn't have much success because they are a little expensive but at least we're getting out there and making people aware about the water they drink and how a filter can greatly impact there health. Letting people know that there is always another option to there problems- a solution can bring a smile to face of one who is lost and confused. As Tim and I stood in the market for 5 hours in the verrry strong sun- we somehow find ways to entertain ourselves by talking to Ernestina. She told me and Tim a really interesting story about a man who approached us for information- and Ernestina kind of ignored him. This is very strange considering she is one of the friendliest and funniest person I have met so far in Peru. I asked her why she did this, and this is what she replied. She said his name is Rios and he's about 90 years old. Every day Rios walks to the market and asks Ernestina- What is this? Why are you here selling it? He has never baught a filter nor does he intend to- so in some ways it is kind of a lost cause. She continued to tell us about who he is, and about his life. She said Rios has lived in Urubamba his whole life- and that he was the first people in the town to own a car. Everyone was fascinated with the car and envious of it. Over time locals would ask Rios " can you take me here" "Can I ride in your car?" Eventually Rios realized that he could make some money by driving people around for about a Sol. Eventually over time people started to realize that if they could work hard enough and save enough money they too would be able to own a car themselves. As cars became more popular Rios now no longer had a steady sorce of income. He became very poor and had to sell all his belongings to survive. His beautiful house on the mountains, his furniture and then his car. These days Rio tends to walk around the market aimlessly, now that he is much older and possibly losing his memory he is what Ernestina called "a lost soul" although this story may seem grey and depressing- all stories here in Peru are not about gossiping and being a negative person. They are told and passed down through families and there children to teach important lessons in life. The reason why they are so affective is because you can see it with your own eyes. After an hour or so passed as I stood in the hot sun yelling "Aguas Filtros" I came to the realization that I understood the exact poit of this story. We must cherish everything that we have in life. No matter how you may classify- a nice house, a nice car, a healthy and happy family, vacations and material items- in the end they are all the same. Everyone wants to make the best of their life. You must not judge others for you have no idea where they have been or the tragedies and struggles that they have had in there life. You must know that everyone is equal. For Rios- he has been a poor boy, who became weathly- and then tragically overtime lost everything that he had... and possibly everything that mattered to him. This story is much more then a perfect example of poverty. It is a story about how the way the world works. How we choose to handle situations that present themselves to us in the most unexpecting times. I may appear to be rambleing and there are many gramatical errors here- but I had to make sure that I wrote this down before this experience became a small memory mushed with fascination and hard work here in Peru. So for anyone who reads this- I hope you now understand the point of Ernestinas story- and you change the way you think before the second that you judge. Muchas gracias-

"Ciao Ciao"

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    Adam wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2011
    Wow! What a story Cait! That is really amazing. This should be published somewhere in a travel magazine!
  • Stories from the market

    June 16, 2011
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