A Week of Walking

We spend time walking here. Every day on our way to language school we have a 12-minute walk to the bus stop, a 15-minute bus ride and then a 10 minute walk through a maze of walkways, buildings and alley-like streets.

On Monday, I stepped over a pair of frozen pink panties in the back street.
On Tuesday I saw a man rise from stooping in a pile of garbage, pulling up his trousers.
On Wednesday my backpack was subject to an attempting pickpocket and
On Thursday I witnessed someone watering the curb on the busiest street we cross.
      Not even the courtesy of a wall?  I thought.
On Friday I stepped over some more condoms and
On Saturday I met a boy who I thought was a very tiny seven year old. He was ten.
Ten years old and he didn’t even come up to my armpit.
A word for him in this post? Malnourishment.
Sunday was another pee-sighting.

I considered blogging about these sights and decided not to.
I guess I changed my mind.

I didn’t want to write about these not because I thought it would be unpleasant. No, I didn’t want to write about these because of the reasons I was seeing them. I was letting myself see them – perhaps even looking for them – because I am in Mongolia. I keep my eyes open on the streets here because I do not want to miss a thing.  I keep my eyes open because I am on a missions trip.

Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do on a missions trip? Have your eyes opened to the realities of this world and have your heart get all concerned and broken, causing you to question your placement into a comfortable, complacent society (that, by the way, not only indulges in excess but does so at the price of others?) You know, something like that.

I didn’t want to write about this be because really, these things happen. Everywhere. In any city, in any part of the globe. Nothing new here, folks. These are accurate representations of this world we live in.

There are hungry people everywhere. Canada too.
Yes, there are malnourished children in Canada.
Is basic sanitation a right?
In too many cases it is a luxury.

I didn’t want to tell you I saw these things because I know I have seen them at home. And if I know there is something wrong with them here, then I better be convicted regardless of location.

So now I ask myself: what is my attitude towards the man I see pee on the street the next time I’m in Prince George?
Do I let myself see him? Or do I turn a blind eye, and drive on?

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