Text by Patty Simon | Images by Dick Simon
There are so many reasons to travel but the best is when you slowly and surprisingly realize the purpose.
I always thought it was about seeing new and different places…
Checking off a list of sights and getting to know people in unique cultures.
But I am beginning to see a connection to what I am drawn to and it starts with my last few years at home.
I find myself always hungry to go into the next slum so I can witness and understand firsthand poverty and suffering.
I say this at the risk of being a downer. At home, the last couple of years have pushed me in this direction. My quest for understanding the homeless population in Boston has led me to the horrific Rwandan genocide to Apartheid townships and now the slums of Mumbai. I feel like I am drawn to the streets, the poor, the struggling – the question of “who” they are, how they got there and the million dollar question – what is the most effective way of helping these people?
There are many experts on this subject, many people already doing great work to chip away at this enormous problem and people like me, who find it overwhelming. One finds an air of “acceptance”. I have often wondered why foreign NGO’s are doing a lot of the work that the local rich could do. Many are… And I admit my exposure is very limited.
What I come away with are more the philosophical big universal questions like a Why does it exist at all? Why does it continue? Why does it become invisible to our consciousness?
I pose this to you and would love to get feedback! All of you have your own wise thoughts that might help me put this puzzle of puzzlement together.
I look forward to hearing from you.