Friday, June 8, 2012

The 2/3's World

Those of us in the developed world have little idea how fortunate we are with our running water, electricity, health care, employment, and accessible food.

Much of the world offers things we've never seen up close before.  Here in the Horn of Africa, the terrain is rugged, the climate is harsh, and the trees are shaped funny.

The thorns are 2" long!
The shape, it turns out, isn't what the tree had in mind.  The trees are shaped that way by camels who prune the lower branches.  Here while I watch, a seven-foot tall camel reaches up for the tiny leaves nestled among long thorns. 
Camels are not particularly friendly; I'm told they spit, although none have in my presence.  Yet.

This juvenile camel belongs to some friends of mine; she sings like a gurgling drain pipe.

The children invited me home to meet mom and dad and siblings and camels.  Gracious folks in a difficult place.  They're fortunate though to have three camels and several goats.  It's what you do here instead of a bank account.

Dad and one of his camels; he's holding some pictures I brought from an earlier visit as a friendship gift for him and the family.  

Pink seems prevalent in the wardrobe today; couldn't pass up the cute photo opportunity with one of the family's younger members.

We wave goodbye in hope of 
meeting again later this year.

Their simple home; you can see the absence of vegetation here, and water is hand carried, of course.  This is what life is like, more or less, in one version or another, for most of the world.  Those of us in the developed world have little idea how fortunate we are to have running water, electricity, health care, employment, and plenty to eat.  Little idea at all.

OK, what comes next? 

She's holding a sparkly ball that lights up; you can see the light on her chin.  Laughing right up until I pull
 out the camera, then suddenly serious.  Sweet folks; they graciously made a place for me in their day. 
We even went in my truck (about 12 of us) down to the beach for a swim.
Just looking around; my African friends live in a world where their
 income will always be small, perhaps $1000 - $3000/year.
 Healthcare will be rare; and for their babies, survival will be
20 times less successful