Too many emotions!
I’m in Potosí at the moment, and it’s been the most shocking place on the trip so far. It’s the city where millions of indigenous people and African slaves were forced to work in appalling conditions to extract silver from the mines in Cerro Rico, and even today the miners work in a similar way, all to earn a shockingly measly wage which often doesn’t even cover their basic needs. When we all arrived here, we watched the film “The Devil’s Miner” to get a glimpse of what life is like in the mines, and it almost moved me to tears. I get really upset at things like that and because I wasn’t feeling too good anyway I decided against going on a mine tour with most of the others. I regretted it a little bit afterwards as everyone said it was really eye-opening, but I’ve done quite a lot of things that have given me cultural understanding and I honestly think that I would have broken down in tears if I had seen for myself the atrocious conditions in the mines.
Since arriving in Bolivia, and even before, I’ve been feeling steadily stranger. I love the world and learning about how it works so much, and to see what a mess we’re making of it upsets me to such an extent that it’s starting to physically hurt me, as is the fact that I miss my family and friends more with every passing day. 😥 What gives me the right to have a loving family, food on my table and great educational opportunities? Why should the majority of the world have to suffer because of where they were born or because of bad politics? Why do we insist on messing up the world?! These questions have always been in the back of my mind but they have definitely catapulted to the front since I’ve been in South America. As soon as I get home I’m going to join as many charities and organisations as I can and work really hard on helping to solve these terribly unfair issues. I’m only one little person doing a tiny bit of work, but if lots of little people all over the world do the same thing, that will amount to much more and maybe, by some miracle, poverty and environmental devastation will be eradicated someday.
As you can imagine, I’m feeling a bit down and upset at the moment! I’m not going to let it all take over my mind so much that I can’t enjoy my last 3 and a half weeks here, though. Hopefully I’ll be back to my usual mindset soon and get on with enjoying my adventure!