What’s up my people! I have an interesting story to share with you all!
This last Saturday, Oriana and I went to the beach with our new friends! Our friend Isaac took us to Santa Maria south of Lima for a blistering hot beach day. I would highly recommend this beach as it has beautiful views, fine sand, powerful waves, and fairly warm waters! We took a cab for 57 soles to the beach (not a terrible price for an hour split between four people – $5 a person). However, on the way back, we took a bus which was MUCH cheaper to get home (5 soles/person less than $2), but with a consequent three hour ride home, YAY! This story focuses on the story of a man, rather than the beach, that the everyday tourist would not see or understand that we met on our return home. A story about a homeless, schizophrenic, misunderstood man and the incredible struggle he lives with everyday and the rest of society who have similar struggles.
What People Miss as a Tourist
If you are visiting Peru as a tourist, most likely you are staying in the Miraflores area, which most likely means you probably are not taking the bus. However, if you do take a bus you may run into random people walking on the bus trying to sell candies, homemade breads or sandwiches, performing music, or anything that they can sell. Many individuals share their stories of their daily struggles trying to survive. They get by selling a cheap product, or providing a service that will help them and their families. Now, we sat on the bus for three full hours, and we saw probably about 20 people or so in that time frame with just that bus route. If it was up to me and Oriana, we would help every single person, but for obvious reasons we cannot. It is incredibly difficult to look the other way. However, there was a specific man’s story from this day that specifically broke our hearts.
The Man that Broke our Hearts
This man comes on the bus like any other person. He is an average height male, short brown hair, probably in his mid 40’s, and he begins talking with semi-raspy voice. He stands at the front of the bus giving his story. Me, not perfect in Spanish, was still intently listening because it is great practice and had to had to ask Oriana what his story was. She then explained to me that he was a homeless man living on the streets. He openly shared with everyone he is schizophrenic without any help, and that he is basically rejected by society. He tried to slide in silly little jokes to ease the crowd and to maybe gain a few soles (Peruvian currency) but failed. He is a little bit socially awkward. He was selling a few candies for 50 centimos (less than 50 cents US) which is not much in to live off of.
When he was done with his speech, Oriana generously bought some of his candy and had a small conversation with him. He was incredibly friendly. He smiled, he laughed, and they talked for a brief moment. He then proceeded to the back of the bus to ask the rest of the people if they were interested, who then mocked him for being “disabled” and told him to leave. The poor guy probably faces insults and cruelty like this every day. I thought this was something to share with you all. He faced the door of the bus before the doors opened to let him off as he was singing/talking to himself (it looked really sad to be honest). Off he went, and that was that.
I desperately hope that man in particular finds peace and some type of help or support that is steady and consistent. The little conversation we had with him, he seems like he has a great heart and I truly believe he deserves help and support to living a better life. I hope one day I can make more of a difference in people’s lives, and I hope that you have learned something as well with today’s story.
My simple advice to share with you and to others around you is:
Be kind to others, give more, smile to people around you, and appreciate the positive things in your life
I hope you learned something and can apply it to your own lives. I know things happen like this in the United States as well and everywhere, but just something to think about in your busy daily lives. Thanks for reading! Comments or questions, please leave them on the post!