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Ecuador – Part13

Posted on Mar 02 2004 under Diary of the ONE | Tags: , , ,

It’s all about our programming, our internal operating system, the information that has been programmed into us by the governments, rulers & religions. This information or truth is flawed, incorrect & it’s acting like a virus eating away at the very fabric of our society bringing manifestations of increasingly negative degree.
Time Is, all of us need to awake from our sub conscious programming, our slave slumber, work at taking control & command of our own thoughts & emotions, create our own positive actions & reactions for our future evolution.

It would not be good for our consumer economy if we repaired items or heavens forbid made them with everlasting quality to last as long as possible. In the seventies we still made things as well as we could, an example being hi-fi equipment, solid and reliable still going today. Today the reason your electrical items have a life of 5 years, if not less, before they break down, is a fault that is built into there design in the first place so you would have to be a repeat customer within 5 years.

As I’ve been travelling around S.A I’ve noticed many of our old items, electrical equipment, cars patched up in many ingenious ways to get them working again.
The taxis bring a smile to your face; from brand new models to the oldest Lada’s outside Russia, barley held together & battered to crap but still working.
You find at the street markets large piles of cloths & shoes from the US being eagerly sifted through by crowds of interested buyers out for the pick of the pile.
“If it can be fixed – fix it”, “if it can be made to work – keep it”

Unfortunately Ecuador recently has had big problems with its economy; they were eventually brought out or sold out to the Americans. They lost the “Sucre” the local currency; it was replaced by the US dollar. As a result a great deal has changed, house & land prices soared, goods & services became more expensive.

For the people with a good situation, form owning a house or running a business life got easer & more profitable. The other 80% of the population struggle with rising prices on property & goods combined with low monthly wages. Dose this sound familiar?

You can see the families that have been Americanized, its been 4/5 years now since the change to the dollar, people who are doing well seem to want the biggest or the best it doesn’t seem to matter whether were talking cars, televisions, houses, pools; you name it its gotta be big & better than Carlos next door.
Something to show off, look at me, look what I can afford! Cars are taken to the extreme with Chevy trucks and oversized 4×4’s being the “poser’s” choice, fitted with all the extras, big wheels & tyres blatantly too large.
As you travel through the country in Ecuador, even in the most remote areas someone owns a 4×4 or a big flash television, in the country villages, often in an open shack you see four or five families crowded round a TV at night, all mesmerized by the images they see, no longer do they play or put there time to the old pursuits of passing the time.

Time is changing even in the remotest reaches of our world people are being affected & brainwashed by the consumer calling. This is resent 10 years ago these people knew little outside there own village life, now all they want for the life they have seen on the television. It’s a crying shame, this thing called progress?

One part of Ecuadorian culture that still seems to thrive is the family run bus services. Each family/company might have a few buses servicing certain routes. There are hundreds of different companies with each one’s busses decorated in a different way; all are different colours, sizes or states of repair, quite a sight.
A trip usually works out to $1 per hour, so you can travel round Ecuador & S.A easily & cheaply. The quality of the ride varies completely so check out your bus before buying the ticket. The drivers are a little mad, possibly the thought of getting pulled over & robbed, although this only happens on occasional overnight journeys or falling many feet to your death off the side of a mountain.
The roads are untrustworthy, windy & mountainous; heart stopping if you are crazy enough to be watching & worrying about it. The pumping Salsa or Merenge music is there to keep your mind distracted & your spirit lifted.
Whenever the bus stops at a junction or at the lights people jump on & off, most trying to sell you something, anything; water, sweets, fruit, chicken (yea sure it’s chicken) on skewers, home made cake, sunglasses, razors, cloths, etc the range is endless.
They stay on the bus for 5-10 minuets then jump off to catch the return bus going back into town. They do this all day, every day, trying to sell there goods; make a buck or two. The more annoying of the sellers have a big speech prepared; they stand at the front of the bus shouting their pitch, usually fighting with the level of the Salsa music, most are trying to sell some sort of wonder cure. The list of curable ailments is endlessly amazing; it was surprising to see many people buying a couple of dollars worth. The people do seem to want to help others, a sort of “well he/she is trying, so I will help by buying” If the speech is good or the 10 year old boy tells a good story about how poor the family is because his dad needs an operation on his ass, usually you will find its more than just a few people that buy 3 sweets from the boy for 10c or the magic vitamins for a dollar.

I find it difficult to ignore the beggars & the street kids, mainly reminisce of the indigenous population relating of the Inca. They fill the city streets especially in the mountainous areas, trying hard to sell you some “artizania” hand made; often beautiful artworks or handcraft, the less fortunate just resort to begging.
There are so many that are living below the poverty line, scraping a life together to feed their 2/3/4 kids, you tend to become accustomed to their cry’s for help, walking on past them with no ears & no second thought.
I was quite surprised at the attitude of the people we were staying with, the comments that were passed as we walked around the cities were of dislike & distrust.
“Dirty Indians, why do they have so many children”.
It’s so easy to judge others especially when you haven’t taken time to picture life from their point of view. Don’t judge, help.
Ok if you gave 10c to each & all that came and asked then you yourself would have no money by the end of the day, this dose leads to saying “No sorry” which doesn’t help anybody.
You see the same story the world over; the poor forced to scratch out a living while the rich keep buying for themselves, getting fatter & farther from the majorities true reality.

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