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A woman and her four kids walk for miles to try to sell firewood (balanced on boys' heads) in the Philippines.
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IN MY LITTLE
People who write about travel rarely write about the kind of poverty I'm talking about: dire, life-or-death poverty; subsistence living; life at the edge.
The only time I saw poverty on that scale was passing through the Panama Canal many years ago.
I was on a trans-Pacific crossing and as we exited the last lock,
Those images were burned into my memory.
My brother is on the Philippine Island of Cebu
"Whenever I come to the Philippines the same impressions come back: The abject poverty and lack of cleanliness are two things that hit you; the craziness on the roads, the contrast between the haves (have a lot) and the have nots (ain't got much or ain't got nothin'.)
"But the human spirit prevails, and life goes on "
Life in Philippine cities is better--modern shopping malls, fine universities and hospitals, he writes, and roads have improved in many places by this, his 10th (he thinks) trip there.
"I always return home with a new appreciation of how damned lucky we are," Glen commented.
Nick Cadwallender of Fredericksburg just got back from a family trip to Senegal, where daughter Mary is a Peace Corps volunteer.
Poverty there is depressing, he said. Cadwallender, who has traveled widely, said the poverty--combined with filth and poor infrastructure--was disturbing.
I won't go into detail as Cadwallender, publisher of this newspaper, may write about that trip himself.
But even here there is a positive side. Mary teaches farming to people whose diet is simple grains, day-in and day-out. She has worked miracles in grain production in the 18 months she has worked in the Senegalese village, he said.
Take a look at her blog: marycad.wordpress.com.