Living Among Extreme Poverty opened my eyes to how easily I getting bogged down with self-centred worries over my perceived position in modern society (size of my car/house/job title etc.).
Yet, I do and will always enjoy material benefits including a hot shower, a Starbucks, electricity 24 x 7 and more (inc. car / home).
Speaking for myself, I have found that an extreme challenge, climbing a mountain or helping others, creates changes in me in varying degrees, some little and some bigger. Certainly each small step alters my perspective of my place in this world.
I notice that I am like a recent non-smoker who doesn’t want to smoke but checks his pockets feeling something is missing. For me today it’s my attachment to my mobile phone.
No calls to make or answer. No text to send or receive.
No checking my emails, no google or surfing the net.
This is all humbling stuff for me when I see what is happening around me.
Kids here, play the same way children throughout the world play but without shop bought toys and hovering supervision. I watch them making their own toys from just about anything including sticks, pieces of string, empty plastic container, mud; add vivid imagination and enthusiasm equals happy kids.
Many of the same children go to school without having had any food, arriving to enjoy a cup of water before the first class. The water will has come from a borehole, rainwater tank or a stream!
The infants have a mid-morning cup of maize porridge, is this somewhat similar to what we feed kids in UK workhouses in the 18th century? These kids queue up with gratitude and drink every drop.
So when standing precariously on top of my personal mountain, , I get panoramic view of my little world. With a pinch of self-honesty I can become a little more able to reassess my values, focus my aims, attempt to reducing my self-centeredness and anxieties.
An example of my Menu; the main meal of the day is at 8pm.
Sunday; breakfast, 2 toast with Kenyan coffee; lunch, Pineapple or Banana; evening, Ugali and Kales (thick maize dough with Kale).
Saturday night’s special was, boiled rice with peas and a side dish of finely sliced fried cabbage.