Friday, April 11, 2008
Food for Thought
Disparity: Noun 1. disparity - inequality or difference in some respect inequality - lack of equality; "the growing inequality between rich and poor" far cry - a disappointing disparity; "it was a far cry from what he had expected"
I'd like to share with you an aspect of life here that touchs me deeply and makes me ask "WHY??" The extreme poverty expresses itself in many ways but what always hits my heart is the way it affects the children. It is typical for children, sometimes as young as 6 or 7, to be on the busy main streets selling just about anything, trying to wash windshields, or just plain begging. They appear on the busses and sing, accompanying themselves by shaking a plastic bottle with pebbles and hoping for a few coins as they squeeze down the crowded aisles packed with people. Many times they are without shoes or sandals and look like they haven't washed or eaten in quite a while. This is not the way God wants childhood to be lived!! Elderly women also stand in the middle of the streets and ask for support.
I've been visiting the Physical Rehab Hospital and one lad in particular has won my heart. His name is Alicio and he's 15 years old. He arrived at the hospital the day I left to come to Nicaragua. He's totally paralyzed as the result of an accident. He comes from the other side of the country, the Atlantic/Carribean Coast which means that he's far from family and friends. His mom is here with him and is so faithful, gentle and caring. She loves her son and it's so evident. He has a smile that would capture each one of you. He could be up in a wheel chair but since he has no control of his neck, he needs a chair with a head rest and other aspects that will support his body. I'm working with a social worker to see what might be possible but the doctor indicated that they don't have access to this type of chair. That's hard to believe. The wealthy Nicaraguans are subject to similar disabilities and needs and I'm sure they have what they need.