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Halfway to Somewhere

ECUADOR | Tuesday, 7 January 2014 | Views [399]

Well, our trip is officially over half way done. I have so many mixed feelings about that! On one hand, I absolutely love Ecuador. I’ve had so many opportunities to grow and learn, all while in a beautiful country. On the other hand, I miss my family and friends, and can’t wait to get back home. I just feel a bit conflicted, and I’m sure being mentally, physically and emotionally tired doesn’t help with the fact.

I was asked today if I was experiencing any culture shock. To be honest, I don’t know. It’s hard to see people struggling everyday: begging for money, sleeping by the road, living in dilapidated houses. I almost feel bad bargaining with the shopkeepers knowing that selling those goods is their sole source of income. It’s difficult when you step out of your comfort zone only to realize what really goes on in the rest of the world. I’ve been talking about the concept of the privileged versus the marginalized for years now, but have just come to realize what it really means. And I’m still asking why. Why am I the one with privilege? I’ve done nothing to deserve it. 

I don’t know the answer to this question, and I would venture to say that I might not ever know. However, it is still important to ask. In thinking about it, I’ve come to value privilege because with privilege comes power.  No, not the power to rule over and dominate others, but rather the power to help. There are so many people out there that need help and desire change. I’m starting to realize that it really only takes one person to begin that change. I have to begin with myself.

I know Ecuador isn’t the only place with marginalized and privileged groups. They’re everywhere you go. It just took a trip to Ecuador and a week in a penthouse watching the beggars from my window to really realize what it really means.

Tags: halfway, privilege

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