Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cartoon 23: Recycled House

San Pedro Sula, Honduras.  This was the first place I ever saw a home made of things scavenged from the dump.  It's inside of a whole neighborhood of houses like this.  When we asked, this woman told us that her neighborhood is special because it is more peaceful than others.  She does not lock her door against possible intruders, in fact she doesn't have a door. 

The dump was just at the entrance to this community.  I guess the neighborhood was formed close to avoid having to lug building materials and other useful things too far?  People scavenged not only to build their homes but also to meet day to day needs.  The first thing I saw as we pulled off of the main road was the little girl on the top left of the drawing bound through the piles of trash in a bright turquoise princess dress.  I immediately flashed back to when I was a girl and wanted to wear my princess costume everywhere.   I fought my mom to wear it out anywhere we went- to the grocery store, to school, to the park.  I watched her and her friend play with a small cardboard box, filling it up and then dumping it out. 

Mmmm I'm trying to think of what reflections I can share.  The thing I thought most about after this experience is the odd fact that while I've never seen such poverty, I've also never experienced such generosity.  During the whole trip, people with way less resources than I'm used to have opened up their homes to us strangers and trusted us entirely.  They have fed us and opened up everything they have to us.  I have never invited strangers into my house and shared not only my space but fed and given the keys to a stranger, much less nine strangers!  I almost can't even imagine asking that where I'm from.  It kinda seems like when people have more (including myself), they are less open with what they have.  And people who have less are often much more generous and open.  So I'm thinking about how I define the limits of my generosity.  I'm asking myself, how often do I give something when it means that I will have to go without? 


  1. So interesting isn't it... the inverse relationship to generosity and wealth. It baffles me as well. Can't wait for Colombiaaaaaaaaaaa!