Come along for the journey!

Come along for the journey!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

BEDOUIN GIRLS: (Dahab, Egypt)

Today, we were offered bracelets and other pretty things by young Bedouin girls who I imagined ought to be in school. You need to be wise when encountering people 'in need' all over the world, especially when we have such limited insight into their culture, personal situations and pressures. No harm in buying a bracelet from a kid is there? Win-win right? I used to have a part-time job (washing cars) when I was their age, of my own volition, and it gave me a few quid as pocket money. I'm not naive to the fact that kids are often pressured into working for others, taking on responsibilities and often risks, that ought to be left to adults, instead of being able to just….be kids. I suppose I am curious that after years of working with 'impoverished' (often financially) people in the UK and overseas, I still feel pretty clueless when I approach new situations such as these. I realise we can't help everyone, and furthermore, our 'helping' sometimes feeds the problem. It's case by case I know, and there's no lonely planet guide that gives you clear directions.

It felt right not to buy some bracelets today, as we knew nothing of the girls situation. Instead we asked if they'd join us for a drink. We enjoyed mango juices together, played some games, learned one another's names and got chatting. It was nice. I like to think they got more than they came looking for. We certainly did. I expect that's a pretty western take on the story. They still need pocket money, we're still probably clueless…but maybe a little less.
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