3 Nov Dinner with friends saying goodbye, Santiago, Chile
Spent the day pottering around and doing my blog. I am feeling inspired to put up my poetry. This probably is the good thing of not being well, I spend more time on the computer. Although I am starting to feel tip top now.
I caught up with my friends in Baquedano station. We went for a walk and sat down. We talked about family and Chile. My friends had done a detailed logging of all expenses, to the last penny. Peter is very detailed and his wife is the driver, or motivationalist. I laugh, what women are not driving their husbands. I loved watching the interaction between these two. She is as sharp as a tack and correcting him. After 40 years of marriage I guess they know each other inside and out. They lived very cheaply on this trip and they said it was the cheapest trip they had. They look for free events, they don´t stay in 5 star accommodation. They are interested in the couch surfing as that will drop their expenses for accommodation to zero. Isn´t it amazing that people allow you to stay in their home for free and just simply help you, the only vested interest is learning and enjoying others from another culture. As a traveller I can´t tell you how important that has been for me. There is no way I could afford a world trip if I hadn´t had community support in some way. Loving kindness is so important. There doesn´t have to be repayment when a person does something. I think learning to receive is as important as learning to give. And yes I am sure some look for the free ride, but you know why not. They are likely to turn around and give it to someone else. We live by example, don´t worry about return. I just did all the dishes. They had a party here last night or a gathering of friends. Glasses everywhere. I did that to contribute. I do like to do that. But that contribution can be in conversation, kindness, company etc. So anyway, I´ve sold the idea to my friends and they are definitely going to do it. They will love it and meet locals.
We had a lovely dinner and walked back to their area of Irarrazaval. I then jumped on a bus, gave them a huge hug and thanked them. Maybe one day we meet again, I hope so. They were angels for me and so nice to be with kiwi´s. I guess it prepares me for kiwiland next stop. I headed back to my place on the bus and I found myself facing the back of the bus. Watching all the Chileans. They have such beautiful skin, so brown. I honestly found myself so aware of my white skin. I prefer brown skin, but hey I get what I am given. I am sure many of them like my skin. I find they look at me a lot, I guess blonde and blue eyed is not common. I find them beautiful people. But you know everywhere in the world everyone is good. I really found that. The average person (if there is such a thing) are just lovely. We live in an incredible world with such diversity yet slowly globalising. My friend told me in an email he was for globalisation. I am concerned about it because it creates sameness but also depletes natural resources, that is my main concern. If people all choose to live that way then so be it. I just feel we lose something when the local shops close down, the traditional ways are phased out, we lose community when we work and we get weighed down by material things. I´ve enjoyed those material things as much as others, but I found my inner work became more fulfillng as it felt real. I think if you do the same thing every day (which I have done), one days just melts into the next and before you know it you wake up and you are 50. My friends told me they had wanted to travel as young people, then Leah fell pregnant and then the home life became a priority, so now in their 50´s they are doing it. Peter said he carried the dream of South America for nearly 40 years. He always wanted to come here. How great they fullfilled their dreams. Leah said there is so much to see, always something. She is so alive and amazing. I thought of people working to pay off mortgages and believing they are getting there. I don´t know, it is not for me to judge, I can only say that I have tasted the freedom and I really love the change, the places, the people, the flora and fauna and those magnificent mountains. It has been a gift to travel and I do feel truly blessed.
I do feel all people around the world want the same thing, happiness. I truly wish they get what they want.
Better go pack I am off to New Zealand. Looking forward to flying. I do love that. And yes, that is a result of globalisation, so I have enjoyed it, but at what cost. Hopefully a changing awareness becomes my gift back to the world.