Monday, February 21, 2011

Such Beauty, Such Heatbreak - from Linda Woodward Stanton in San Antonio Palopo

I took a break this afternoon and walked past the washed out road caused by the landslides in September - up the hill that leads to the Ceramic workshop. I bought  some lovely little bowls with beautiful fish painted inside each one. As I left to walk back to the hotel, I heard Hola Linda being called out.  I turned, and there was Francisca and her daughter and little boys walking back into town with huge loads of wood sticks on their heads. The boys had bare feet and were using head straps - the wood hung down to their ankles. The women just balanced the huge piles on their heads. They cannot afford to buy wood, so they had picked up cut branches from the roadside. They were hot and tired, yet remained cheerful and pleasant to me. I felt so sad to think of the fun we had together yesterday and realized what a happy diversion it must have been from the grinding poverty they live with every day. They had the electricity connected today so at least they will have some light tonight. I said goodbye and walked home as the most magnificent sunset that I have ever seen changed colours behind the volcanoes. This is such a place of contrast; I feel very priviledged to experience all of it ... the beauty, and the heartbreak. 

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