chelsea cookWe live in a world with a split personality. OK, other than me, I mean. After far too long an absence I started going to the gym again. Whilst walking on the treadmill I was watching the Travel channel which was broadcasting a program from Mozambique. Mozambique is toward the bottom of Africa on the eastern side. As you can imagine, it is  very poor and, evidently, without many natural resources. This country is one the Portuguese took over and sold as many people into slavery as they could.  Then they are just coming out from a 16 year civil war. Some group with a strange name was going around the country killing anyone they wanted to and keeping all others in fear.
The host of this program was amazed at the food the people had to eat. They could take,what looked like weeds or leftovers, and turn them into very good dishes. The statistics of survival are too appalling to post here but one can check on Google for that answer. It seems to me that mankind can survive if there is just the tiniest bit to work with. These people had almost nothing but they continued to survive and even found occasions to celebrate life.
Then, as I was treading along, four to five minutes of commercials came on and every commercial was of a food product. Even I, as a retired Oklahoma school teacher, could go to s shop and get more food to bring home on day than these people could have/see in a month - or year, perhaps. That really hit me as I was walking and wondering about lunch and what was in the fridge. It is doubtful that anyone in the village the host was visiting had ever saw a refrigerator. Like our college students and teenagers, they cooked something and then it was gone.
This country was just overcoming the extremely harsh rule of the Portuguese and were trying to come into the 20th Century when the civil war started. Now, because of geography they are condemned to poverty for the foreseeable future. There I was on a treadmill going nowhere and spending energy doing it while they were spending energy just living. Somehow it just struck me as odd. Then another commercial came on.
This one was about Ireland, one of my favorite places in the world. Ireland is considered by many U S people to be a little behind. They do not have instant everything as we do and much of Ireland is more expensive than most of the U S. having said that, Ireland is somewhat safer from crime than the U S but not a great deal in some areas, mainly in the cities.  But the irish people have everything they need and more. They still use their pubs as social centers ( centres-?) and enjoy seeing each other often. Just as in the     U S, the Irish waste a great deal that the Africans would have thought was a fantastic luxury.
There are things i have thought about most of my conscious life and the fact that European countries thought they could just have everything from another geographical are because they wanted it, blows what little mind i have.
Yes, yes i know. Even before you tell me i know I am living in a part of the world where the Europeans came over, divided it up and slaughtered the people who actually had the land. The people who lived here were really using the land and its resources but the Europeans decided they were savages so they killed them and/or put them in selected areas for control purposes. In Africa, the Europeans sold the people as if they were livestock. Now the descendants are paying a heavy price.
There I was, huffing and puffing after walking fast for 30 minutes and the images of people I was magically seeing on a screen thousands of miles away had to walk everywhere. I walked for 30 minutes and I was exactly where I started.
Just recently I was wishing I had a better auto than our old one. If I had this new auto, I could be in Maine in 2 to 3 days and go on the schooner. If those people walked for 2 or 3 days, they might be near a population center where they would be less safe than they would be in a jungle filled with lions. And before Raff Redneck tells me to go live with them if I feel so sorry for them, “No thank you.” I could and would if it would help at all but I was not raised that way and couldn’t adjust to those conditions. I do, however, think they could adjust quite easily to better conditions. I wonder what the Portuguese are doing now.
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