unable to sleep soundly last night.. i wondered what could have been the reason of my discomfort. Usually I fall asleep right away or after 5 minutes after closing my eyes. But this night was different. My sheets felt harsh against my skin, my pillow not soft enough my heart was pacing. And i closed my eyes and breathed, in out in out. Finally I stopped and tried to concentrate on what really was upsetting me. Yes i was stressed my physics book hasn’t arrived..i’m behind on some work now. But something else is bothering me…probably all that Activia yogurrt i had been eating, but i can’t complain about that now.. i remember when i was dying for fiber in Bolivia. And that is when it hit me like a brick to my face. I got the wind knocked out of me temporarily. It was like reliving a nightmare that i couldn’t wake up from. All i saw were the children and their faces. How dirty they were. No one understands here. At a family party at my boy friend’s house his family asked well how was Bolivia? Well what did you do? and i really had a hard time even wanting to answer it. I love my boyfriend so much, he could sense how i was feeling before the question was even done being asked. He answered for me while i gave brief summaries he filled more details in.. the details that i still have a hard time saying.
sean: there was no water, at some places no electricity and definitely no toilets.
grandma: well why were the people so poor? what did they do?
me: well they don’t have much of an economy to work in. They sell things at the market place, their children work and thats all they can really do
grandma: well why doesn’t someone help them? why doesn’t the government?
sean: the government doesn’t care about these people. A little kid died that lauren worked with and it wasn’t a big deal..it wasn’t even announced.
telling bismar’s story over and over again, i have become cold to it. I still am angry. I don’t really know how i should deal with something so cruel as this. I think it’s because i am the type of person that needs an ending.. and Bismar’s case, his suffering never ended. He will never have justice, his father will always be a drunk and his mother always suffer, his brother always guilty, his small brother who resembles him eerily will always cry and no one will respond, his baby brother always wet because no one will change his diaper and his down-syndrome sister forever neglected. Yes Bismar is done as an individual suffering, but his family.. will forever suffer. And i have never felt so sad. Is it wrong to say that death is the only way out of such a cursed life? is it better that he is dead so that his father can’t beat him and his mother doesn’t have to worry about feeding another child.
i never see Bolivia in my dreams..it is forever in my nightmares and i cannot escape. I will always be changed and I feel it. I will never take my mother for granted and when ever i get the chance i will tell her I love her more than everything because she has sacrificed for me. I love all my family for supporting me throughout my journey and always believing in me. I love my boy friend Sean, who has held my hand and listened and been there for me through everything.
I feel like i am fighting for a losing battle. Nothing I can do will ultimately save the world. Nothing will save Bolivia, i cannot do anything to save any of those children. This is the life that they were chose to led..and i just hope they know happiness..not the same as we do..bbut happiness is so different there. so simple.
Abby was happy to see me try to salsa and meringue with her as she laughed so hard she could barely even dance. The little boys who came to my art class were excited to use my camera and to be in pictures with me making all sorts of faces. Even the trouble makers had a smile on their faces when i would say “Buen Dia” and they would respond “No No Buenas Noches” and i would respond “si si buenas noches” playing along with their game. The popcorn bags we gave out and even just bread would make children so excited.
i smile thinking of my children of Loma Pampa. Who knows maybe i’ll adopt a kid out of that orphanage that they worked in this summer. That is the only way I will feel that someone is being saved.
i have to reflect and think. Is this a selfish wish of mine? To be a hero? to save a little piece of the world?
my mother always told me from a young age “lauren stop trying to save the world”. I looked at her with tears and I said i wanted to make that difference in someones life, to change their life for the better. I now understand why she said that to me, it wasn’t to discourage me; it was to protect me from the reality of it all. It’s true I can’t save the world and in my heart I know i was put on this earth to do something extraordinary to help people. It is the only thing I am passionate about.. don’t get me wrong..i love science and all. But this is what feels right to me… i mean it took me all the way to the southern hemisphere.. when i could have been dipping my toes in the Atlantic Ocean on the jersey shore, I was in Loma Pampa. And i would never trade it for anything.
it is a nightmare that i live with. The nightmare of reality. I was naive, as is everyone until they see with their own eyes. After watching all that national geographic, where they explain all the different aspects of culture and society, you never truly understand until you are there.
i now ask this question.. Is it better to be naive about the world and it’s poor, to not see the ends of the world where there are human beings just like yourself living in conditions you never could imagine? or is the truth what you need?
I guess I would say that I am mature for my age, I always have been told so since I was younger, and this truth made me feel old. It made me come home and feel like alot of the answers i had been searching for had been answered. There was no bright light.. and the Christo did not descend upon me in my sleep and whisper my fate into my ears, but slowly as i begin to set my future up..it now starts to make sense.
Bolivia. I still have the map of cochabamba hanging on a wall in my room. It is a constant reminder to me as where I have been (duh). Well i mean emotionally too! On that map it shows all the locations i have been, Loma Pampa (not listed on the map but i know where it is), the Christo, La Cancha and my classes. I survived and found my way around in a town that i wasn’t even remotely familiar with. I guess it is my motivation.. I can do anything that I set my mind to. I made it to Bolivia right! And I made it out! (only getting sick 1 time!).
I guess because I stored this in the back of my brain for months and neglecting my journal for the same amount of time that everything comes out now. I had been avoiding my journal because I didn’t want to write anymore, I didn’t want to reflect or relive many things (such as the beginning of my entry) but everything needs to be reflected over.
I guess I made up for my slacking and I feel much better..I forgot how great it feels after getting everything out there..in cyber space haha