Wednesday 7 November 2007


First things first...(being english n all..)
weather update:
sun is still shining and it still reaches over 25 degrees during the day. Winter keeps threatening to arrive and then disappears again. Sometimes the nights are really quite cold although they're not too bad again this week. But i wouldn't mind a blanket with my sleeping bag! I can't complain though, Sevilla is the warmest part of Spain. I am so spoilt!


Many times this week I have ben overwhelmed with how privileged I am. There are so many GOOD things in my life. In many of my classes we've been talking about development (which for me is a 'blessing' in itself as it's an issue i really wanted to study at uni in England but was unable to) and among the many definitions of what constitutes a developed society is having the opportunity to CHOOSE - what work we do, where we live, to a degree what social group we belong to, etc. I am in Spain by choice - with one of the aims being to further increase my choices in the future. And i could always chose to leave if really wanted. Other people are here because of a LACK of choice. A matter of survival. Friends in the church in Badajoz are living in a different continent to the rest of the family and don't know when they'll next see them or when they'll be able to return to their countries of origin - that is if there's anything to return to.

I am part of a tiny percentage of people in the world who can afford to travel "just for fun". Who no matter how hard things get always have a way out, always a ticket elsewhere. an elsewhere that is safe and warm and more than enough.

So we sit there in the Spanish sun feeling overwhelmingly greatful yet not sure what to do with what we have in our hands. I think it's OK to enjoy and celebrate what we have been given - to fully appreciate it... after guilt won't achieve anything. yet at the same time we cannot pretend that we are not surrounded by people with so much less.

But where do you start? And how? Throwing a few cents that we'll never even miss at the blind lady outside the supermarket to quiet our conscience just doesn't seem to cut it. We know money doesn't buy happiness. It's love that changes things. but i don't know how to love.

While we sit there over coffee pondering and wondering a man approaches us asking for money. silence and awkward shuffling in our seats and avoiding eye contact and the same questions and opinions flashing through our minds until he shuffles on to the next table. Suddenly there are a million excuses... barriers of language, age, sex and "what will he do with the money?"

AARGH why is it so hard? we say we don't want to be people who just "talk" but to live out what we believe. yet when opportunities come our actions remain silent.

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