Poverty in Bogotá
Last weekend coming back up from 2000ft into Bogotá CBD my yogi friend drove through the rough parts. As we veered off the main more traveled roads the cars ahead of us made a u-turn. They deliberately were taking the longer route to avoid the area my friend was intentionally driving through. My friend kept on driving! Today, my cabby coming back from the Gold Museum took the same route:
As we were driving last weekend my friend told me about growing up in Bogotá in the 80's and 90's.
She explained to me that she hated her status - she was always protected by body guards. She would escape the protection of her parents and head out into the local neighbourhoods, however, she would need a fake ID to get through the guerrilla check points - they would check everyones ID's. The guerilla's not the police would check id's to see if you were of value to them. She and all other children of anyone who had capacity to pay a valued ransom was taken. She would head out into the dangers and defy authority.... she again did the same with me in the car, which at the time I did not appreciate. I have seen my share in Johannesburg and prefer not to intentionally put my self in danger - like I have done in Hillbrow, Johannesburg - not fun.
As I am typing this I am so happy to have experienced Hillbrow and have driven through parts of this country with a friend. I am sad to my core though and feel that nothing is fair. Nothing. What I have complained about in my life is chunk change ( not that I am one to complain ), but seriously though. There are worlds with in this world that are shadows of a sticky past that is super glued to humanity. Why these people have to suffer and certain people, simply born in a different family, do not? I hate it. I hate myself for hating it, the feeling is unproductive. All I am doing about it is writing a blog post. Pitiful. I left South Africa, because my educational status was not up to the standard to provide a life I deemed worth living there in comparison to what I could have in the USA. I left South Africa so that I did not have to be afraid anymore. The cost of security while running your own business in a third world country as a single women is: I dare say impossible.
Every where I have lived and traveled I have taught Bikram Yoga. Bikram yogis are not in the class of people you see living in squatter camps. Every where I go all over the world I see a stark contrast. The cost of being alive is high. The cost of time we pay with our lives to maintain a level of security for what we "own". There are alternate worlds with in this world. My family story is religious in that I am told by my upbringing that if I do not accept Christ into my life that I will go to hell ( burn for all eternity ), literally go to hell.
I believe hell and heaven is a state of consciousness and self awareness. I feel that people who believe in that reality of eternal damnation are currently in the hell of their perception. The idea of thinking ahead towards a future in the after life and investing so much energy into it is selfish when there is so much we can do to help people who are in hell right now.
As far as help goes, money talks more so than volunteering ones time to places like this. Maybe pulling an Angelina Jolie or better yet an Oprah move is the way to go.... Mucho Dinero .... for now I blog.
Go ferment yourself