I have visited one of the worlds poorest parts of the world. A dirty 15 million city somewhere in the world. The smog was annoying to the extent that I had to inhale astma-medicin every day. From riding a taxi my clothes had a dirty layer of smog. Coming back to the luxury hotel, a contrast to what the life was out on the streets… was the weirdest thing of all.
This was not a pleasure trip. This was indeed a business trip and nothing else. Everyone at the hotel that where foreigners where mostly there for business reasons and nothing else.
I talked to people as much as I could. I asked them how much they earned if they where lucky enough to get a job. Surprisingly the income did not need to be so high in order for them to have a nice good located apartment and a house wife and one or two children.
I thought the income would need to be the double in order for a family to have a good life, but I was wrong. Imagine that you can support a family on 100 Euro a month. Incredible. Not possible in my world. Here you need at least 1500 Euro in order to have an apartment and food on the table… and then you will live really poorly.
An apartment in a larger city in Sweden can cost about 600 Euro and more. You can also be very lucky if anyone accepts one income for a whole family. Probably they will not, if they do not accept welfare assistance. It’s hard to find an apartment for the poorest in Sweden. I would say next to impossible if you don´t know how to work it.
Back to the city of smog. When I arrived from the airport I saw dirty streets full of dust and smog, broken pavements and on the streets people where sleeping, directly under the moon. This would be impossible in Sweden during half of the year. You would probably die from freezing.
Some, I was told, immigrants from the neighbouring country where the poorest in majority in this country. This town was located only 75km from the border to one of the world poorest countries. These families lived in small tents from trash on 4 square meters, containing whole 4 children families with grandparents. No water supply, but I did see electricity inside the houses. In a warm country this is possible, but here it would not be. No one was undressed, everyone had clothes that looked nice. In this country even the poorest think that dressing nicely is very important.
When arriving to the country I had heard about beggars surrounding foreigners… but no such things came my way. Very few single beggars every now and then… but being a credit card-o-holic I seldom could give any money. My travel mate gave an apple… Imagine the surprise on the beggar.
I did my charity work. I played with orphans every day. Orphans with different diseases. Some where ready to come along with me… but could not. I had bought a lot of toys for them, but when I was there I saw a need for skill toys. I bought more. I also bought fruits. The children very much enjoyed the toys. I am happy if I could make their lives happier for a while. Hopefully they will all get their own families in the near future.
I did not feel like doing a lot of shopping at all. I thought of the environment. The most shopping I did was for the children. And then food for me and my travel mates.
The contrast from the streets to the hotel was enormous. The hotel was modern and stylish and a typical hotel. Dinner and breakfast was included in the hotel stay. Our hotel stay cost as much as 12 incomes for one month for 12 families… and for us the stay was cheep in our currency. Of course they probably thought we where rich, even though I can consider me a normal income household…
Since I was unemployed during my trip I did not get any money from the state, but I already financed this trip during my working period. This was a trip planned a long time ago.
Well, the traffic situation in this country was pretty strange, the horn was used all the time. The traffic signs where not respected and the traffic was a little bit like anarchy. I am happy for the Stockholm traffic situation where every car has a seat belt.
Getting into a taxi was like washing your clothes in dirt. The clothes got a black layer of smog. The water turned black when washing the clothes.
But I think I enjoyed the trip, even though the dirt, poverty and traffic madness. I met a lot of interesting people of different religion and cultural background. I got more life experience and I treasure my experiences. They are now even more widened.
I know that the lady for the orphans wants to create a school. I am just wondering… how could I help her? Do you have any ideas for founding? Please tell me.