Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Guide and Helper To The Natives

Many inhabitants of not so prosperous and even more or less prosperous countries have not seen their own homelands they way you see it; i .e. a tourist and expat. They just work there, seldom visit tourist spots, and have neither no time nor money to partake in the activities that you engage in when you are there. They most certainly have not been to the many resorts or clubs that you have been to, nor have they eaten at the many restaurants that you like to dine at.

It is fun, therefore, to show their own country to them from your perspective. It is doubly rewarding if you take a poor person who cannot afford to visit some of the fanciest places that you like to frequent to go and shop at some slick stores or visit museums that they have never yet entered.

Becoming a tourist guide for the natives can be a wry, but good thing. Try it. The people look so cute when they see some new mountain with eyes full of surprise. It has been there forever, but only you were able to show it to them. It is also a very endearing site seeing them at some exclusive beach resort, feeling shy and out of place surrounded by rich gringo tourists. It is as if you are, basically, opening up a whole new world to them without ever taking them out of their motherland.

It is also heartwarming to be able to help people in their own country with the most basic gift of all- money. And with not much money at all. One can often see people in poorer countries going through all kinds of trouble because of lack of money. Some are obviously hungry. You can take them to dinner or just grocery shopping which will cost you little but will mean a lot to them. Some are sleeping on the street. Hey, why not buy them a blanket?

Another great help that your money can effectuate there would be helping stranded people to get back home. There are many developing countries where one can see migrants who had come to the big city to find work but couldn’t, and now they are stranded at various bus, boat or train stations unable to return. They have stoic but forlorn looks on their faces. Look around; you can’t miss them.

They are particularly sad-looking in countries which consist of many islands (such as Indonesia) and where one cannot walk or hitchhike back to his or her village. Your buying a ticket for them to go back to where they originally came from can mean a great deal to them. Somewhere, there are family members that are worried about them but who do not know where they are. Hey, why not give them some money to call home or send a telegram to their mother or husband or wife, get them a cheap hotel room so they don’t have to sleep on the street and send them back to where they came from? If they want to, that is. And give them some money for the road, too. To buy bottled water, and some food, and things like that.

You will feel like a saint later on, and you can be sure that you will never be forgotten as they will be telling stories about you; the righteous among nations, a kind soul in the cold world who was willing to open his/her heart and wallet to make such big difference in their lives.

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