Reis: Learned So Far

This trip around the world, for me, has been very educational. We have learned about many different subjects, including; anthropology, biology, botany, geology, zoology, and religious studies. But instead of reading about the different things in a textbook, we are experiencing the real stuff. Three of the important things I’ve learned are: people can find wealth in poverty, kids are kids everywhere, and extinction is a major problem.

I have learned that people around the world find wealth in poverty. They may not be richer than Midas, but most people make a sufficient living. They may not be affluent, but they have their families, who push them on. For example, in the settlements in Cape Town, people have absolutely nothing. But still they’re happy and move on. As Thando said “ They are showing us their strengths, not their weaknesses”. He also said “ Humans are like teabags, the longer they sit in hot water, the stronger they are”. Thando was inspired by the strength of the people around him, and I’m inspired by their ability to find wealth in poverty.

I also learned that kids are kids everywhere. All around the planet, kids like most of the same stuff. For instance, in the Peruvian High Andes, we played soccer with the Native Quechan kids. We had a lot of fun! And even if they didn’t have a spanking new Adidas soccer ball, they made one out of plastic bags wrapped around each other. It is really quite amazing that you can relate to people who speak, look, and are different, through games.

Lastly, I have learned about the extinction and endangerment of animals and species. The World Wildlife Fund has said that we are losing 50-75 species, not annually, but daily. It’s an environmental crisis! In Africa, they are losing species too. Scientists say that in 20-50 years from now the lion will be extinct. Can you imagine the huge African tourist attraction gone away. It would be a tragedy.

On this trip we have learned a lot of incredible things about the world. Finding strength in poverty, kids are kids everywhere, and extinction is a huge problem are just a few. But we still have five more months of learning to go! And I am SO looking forward to it.

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3 Responses to “Reis: Learned So Far”

  1. Hi Reis,

    Your strong words really make me think about what is truly important in this world. Having a loving family that supports you in your endeavors and making connections with other people are both so important. I see poeple who seem to be “rich” but in reality are poor because they have pursued money instead of friends and family. You are so smart to have learned this life lesson already! Keep up the great observing! Love, Phyllis

  2. Hi Reis!

    Talk about life’s lessons…I love that ‘kids are kids’ no matter where you are. I think that is often true for adults, too, when we let ourselves put aside the stresses and worries of everyday life. We all appreciate kindness, we love a good laugh, and we cherish friends and family. You seem to be making the most of everyday of your journey…very cool. Maybe I’ll make a soccer ball for an indoor game with Chewy 🙂
    Thanks for the tip! Love, Lisa

  3. Reading your essay … well, it brings back my memories of all of you … and, like you said, so much more to come.