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These last few weeks I came to know a whole American family. Their issues, their health, their social status…. I must say that I am amazed by the fact that in America nowadays, there are people struggling and fighting for their lives, living worse than some poor African family in Africa!
Yes, There are millions of cases in US alone, and we can’t help everyone either. But we can do our share be it a thought, an idea, a donation, a friendly advice…..
Today I will share their story with you. That’s the only thing I can do as I don’t have the means to help them. I hope that this post will reach hundreds of people out there and perhaps there will be someone capable of helping a few among millions.
Anderson, Missouri, a town of some 2000 people. Somewhere in one of those old wooden bungalows a family of 5 is sharing a house with another smaller family. They share the rent too.
Our family of 5 is composed of:
A father incapable of working due to a stage 4 cancer. He’ll die one of these days
A disabled mother who has to tend to her 3 children and has only 500 dollars a month.
An 18 year old daughter, who has dreams but her chronic headache is keeping from going to school everyday and is pushing her to depression.
And 2 smaller kids.
The other family is composed of 2 kids and an Aunt who is turning their life into hell. As far as I understand , our family of 5 soon becoming of 4, is going to be kicked out as soon as the father dies.
The main problem is, that the father wants to be buried or cremated thousands miles away in California where his adoptive parents are. And this costs 5000 dollars!
The second problem is that, as he isn’t legally married to his wife, all the fee has to be payed by his 18 year old daughter who doesn’t have money. Even if it was his wife who had to pay for it, she wouldn’t be able to, as she only gets 500 dollars a month.
I shared an idea with them: what if the 5 of them would go to California to wait for him to pass away there. It would cost roughly 500 bucks to go there and return. The idea could have worked but, if he was to be buried they’ll have to pay 2000 dollars for the spot! Really? That’s bloody expensive to die in America! The only alternative the mother tells me, is to cremate him so that he could fit in the familial ground. Which is forbidden by the Holy Scriptures.
Plus they’ll have to take ALL their belongings with them (which is impossible by airplane) as they’re going to be kicked out by the aunt. And moving to California is very expensive for people like them. There are lots of other states way cheaper. Where the rent costs about 600 dollars a month. But how can they travel to California with their belongings and then re-travel to another state? That’s impossible!
For the moment we’re in a dead end. And that worsen the life of the 18 year old. She tried to be hit by a car a few days ago. Fortunately they all avoided her. That’s insane!
I really don’t know what to do. Do you have an idea I didn’t think about, or do you have a second home you don’t need somewhere or do you know someone who is renting a small bungalow somewhere at a very cheap price? Or ANYTHING AT ALL??
The sense in Traveling
As I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I spent my childhood traveling in a variety of places which led me to a lack of sense of belonging anywhere in the world. I’ve seen plenty of vacationers along the way, who by their way of expressing themselves and their behavior it could easily be understood that they traveled for a mere vacation. They weren’t accustomed to travel more than a few weeks per year.
Vacationers are people who look for something different from what they’re used to do for a few days , such as those who go for a few days to town, or to the countryside, or to the beach… they usually follow other vacationers either thinking that the other tourists are smarter than them or just to put up with the Jones.
I think that it’s not fun at all to go along with what the travel agency suggests (even though it’s good for the economy of whatever country it is; without tourism some countries will fall into crisis). In my opinion if someone wants to go in a holiday somewhere, even for a few days, it must be in a place that is very very different from his own, otherwise why bothering?
I remember that we used to have a month vacation every year when I was a child. Well we spent it at home. It was a very very different place from our daily life. The Holiday is for the one who has enough of what he is doing, If someone loves his job why taking a vacation, which is not always instructive by the way ?
Traveling is not a holiday. To Travel is a life, even a job. Such as truck drivers or reporters for example. To travel we need knowledge, experience, courage, will and audacity. Those who spend their lives on the roads, need to know how to find an accomodation when it’s a maniac holiday, they need to know what to do when they run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, they need the knowledge of how to cross a border without too much fuss, they need to have tips on how to get a hotel room paying half the price, it’s to notice when the car behind you is in a hurry, and by courtesy you let him pass… It’s not about visiting a foreign place and to make a lot pictures and bringing souvenirs home. I know what it is to travel. There aren’t always good memories, some dreadful moments remain printed in the mind.
There was a time, a very long time ago, we rented a car from a rental company, but this car was defective and we needed to change it in the nearest location which was over a mountain. So we took the road, we didn’t know how the road was at first, but getting closer to the mountain top, the road changed completely.
And there, was where the story took place. It was a winter morning, we were driving up the mountain when we noticed that the car wasn’t following the wheel. There was a high ravine on our left and the mountain wall on our right, as the car was defective and the road was snowy and icy, the car was sliding between the right; where the mountain wall was, and the left; where the ravin was, and then to the right and back to the left all over and over again. We could have fallen and died that day, if it wasn’t for my dad’s experience. There was no one else on the road with that weather except us. And that’s not all, we didn’t have winter tyres as the car was rented, we had all season tyres! When we crossed over we arrived in Salt Lake City, we were so relieved that we went to Mcdonald’s.
There were countries that left me with lots of dreadful memories (and that wasn’t so long ago), that I wish to forget. Going in a holiday and travelling are two very different things. I’ve seen travelers along the way, there was once an Italian and an Argentinian woman traveling together from Brazil to Argentina by bus, arriving at the boarder, every passenger had to step down with their luggages to be checked. But there was a lot of “confusion” among the customs, they didn’t seem to know what they were doing. Well that Italian found the situation very amusing, he didn’t stop laughing and smiling at the way the customs were working. The lack of pictures he took, the number of stamps in his passport, the small quantity of luggage he had, his behaviour meant that he was an experienced traveler.
Putting the finances to the side, it is important to travel for the sake of knowledge and for the love of what God has created. It will never be the same being in Chichen Itza and seeing it on TV. You’ll never see the long forestal road from Cancun which leads there, the small local shops, the small villages. It’s not the same being at the Iguatzu Falls, hearing the tremendous sound of the water, being wet by the steam and seeing it on TV. The experience leaves a mark, a memory while seeing what others show you leaves a memory of what has been seen, period.
To travel is not meant to find its true self, unless you’re in a spiritual journey to whatever holy place, it is meant to see the world, the world is so wide, so diverse, that it will be injust to ignore all of it for the mere love of a home. Home is not the same for everyone, for some it might have a claustrophobic sense, or a place of trouble with the neighbors, or a place of quiet and peace. I know the value of home, it is a peaceful, joyful, loving place where wonderful moments take place, but for someone like me, home becomes a boredom after some time. Where are the new people, cultures, languages, towns, mountains, lacs, forests, birds, trucks, roads, etc….? We can find anything online nowadays, but it’s very very different from living it .
No way I’m going to tell you folks to go travelling abroad just because the others did so, it has to be from your own will. But I can tell you to take a vacation overseas, because it’s good for you and for the economy of the country you’ll be visiting. You’ll learn many things if you do.
Don’t prepare your journey, don’t get a package from your travel agency, make your own ticket online, book your first hotel and that’s it. Leave the rest when you get there, take a map and chose your own route, your own towns, what you really want to see, don’t follow what other tourists follow. Make your own trip a memorable one. Eat the local food, you might love their cuisine and do it at home when you get back. Make local friends which might enhance your holiday.
See the world because you live only once.