Monday 22 November 2010
I notice how in the West poverty is shameful and differences awkward. They seemed at ease with this and peaceful, open, welcoming; shaking hands at every opportunity. No one could envy their suffering, their very basic existence and there is certainly nothing ennobling in poverty. But they can more easily attain a natural relaxed state in a world of few distractions and little pressure beyond the daily tasks of survival. No mobile phone signals reach here yet; no satellite dishes, no internet; (but not for long I fear).
We came to see how they were managing with the new well made after they had accepted out demand that they construct and use pit latrines and wash their hands. A small imposition on them which can save the lives and the sight of their children, nearly half of whom will otherwise be struck by simple illnesses.
I hope there is some way that their lives can be improved without being spoilt. That the usual development doesn't lead to an exodus of the young from rural life to live in the sprawling cities where half the world's population now live. I don't know what would make that possible but at least basic sanitation and water make health a real prospect.