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Thread: How to walk past a thousand malnourished people?

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    How to walk past a thousand malnourished people?

    My wife asked me to put on my thinking cap and figure this out. We visit some really interesting places and my wife said that she has learned a lot and has nothing against the places that I take her. However, she said that what she sees is psychologically distressful. I can walk past a thousand malnourished people without batting an eye. When we were in Cucuta, Colombia my wife asked if I could buy USD 50 worth of small bills, enough to buy a bowl of soup. I said "sure". She handed those out and she said that felt better. What else might I do to take the distress out of this for my wife?

    What I find interesting is that it makes her appreciate her childhood. She was at times dirt-floor poor and sometimes only ate once a day. However, she said her upbringing was wealthy compared to the Venezuelan migrants in Cucuta, Columbia.

    We will be visiting Moa, Cuba next month, one of Cuba's poorest towns and I want to think of ways to accommodate my wife's sense of empathy.
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    Re: How to walk past a thousand malnourished people?

    Quote Originally Posted by SDET View Post
    My wife asked me to put on my thinking cap and figure this out. We visit some really interesting places and my wife said that she has learned a lot and has nothing against the places that I take her. However, she said that what she sees is psychologically distressful. I can walk past a thousand malnourished people without batting an eye. When we were in Cucuta, Colombia my wife asked if I could buy USD 50 worth of small bills, enough to buy a bowl of soup. I said "sure". She handed those out and she said that felt better. What else might I do to take the distress out of this for my wife?

    What I find interesting is that it makes her appreciate her childhood. She was at times dirt-floor poor and sometimes only ate once a day. However, she said her upbringing was wealthy compared to the Venezuelan migrants in Cucuta, Columbia.

    We will be visiting Moa, Cuba next month, one of Cuba's poorest towns and I want to think of ways to accommodate my wife's sense of empathy.
    I hate to encourage your type of tourism but my experience in Cuba is that the people don't lack necessities- food, clothing, etc.- but are grateful for bars of soap, rolls of toilet paper, that kind of thing. A couple women asked my wife about make-up but she hardly uses it.
    Never saw street begging or prostitution in a Cuban town, unlike nearly every city in North America.
    Better a sister in a whore-house than a brother in the Conservative Party.

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    Re: How to walk past a thousand malnourished people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Mal View Post
    I hate to encourage your type of tourism but my experience in Cuba is that the people don't lack necessities- food, clothing, etc.- but are grateful for bars of soap, rolls of toilet paper, that kind of thing. A couple women asked my wife about make-up but she hardly uses it.
    Never saw street begging or prostitution in a Cuban town, unlike nearly every city in North America.
    We already have hotel sized bars of soap to give out. My wife found lipsticks on sale and bought about twenty of them. I also bringing about a dozen thumb drives to facilitate with getting "el paquete". I'm bringing two extra entry level cell phones. My wife also found lots of cute outfits on special under $10. I'm hardly able to walk 100 meters in a Cuban town without being hit up for something. I suspect it's because my appearance is like a neon light that says "tourist with money". Also, it's amazing how word gets around in a Cuban town. Cuban society demands things be done in a discreet manner. A tipoff is if an attractive, but conservatively dressed young woman striking up a conversation about how healthy she is. If she's "respectible", she will want you to take her to another province. There's also what I call "the lecture". Either she or a relative will communicate how you're expected to keep her out of trouble. That means among other things:

    1) Rent her an extra room all her own at the bed and breakfast so that government inspectors don't identify her as your guest in the registry. In exchange, it's OK to make it clear that you'll be making nocturnal visits to her room.
    2) When walking together, follow the "10 meter rule" so that she isn't identified as being with you
    3) Have her sit in the front seat of the taxi and acknowledge in advance that the the driver will identify her as his girlfriend if questioned by the police for her fraternizing with a tourist
    4) Don't discuss your arrangement with anyone
    Last edited by SDET; 12-10-19 at 04:32 PM.
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    3. Always have an exit. 4. Enjoy your life to the fullest.

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    Re: How to walk past a thousand malnourished people?

    Quote Originally Posted by SDET View Post
    We already have hotel sized bars of soap to give out. My wife found lipsticks on sale and bought about twenty of them. I also bringing about a dozen thumb drives to facilitate with getting "el paquete". I'm bringing two extra entry level cell phones. My wife also found lots of cute outfits on special under $10. I'm hardly able to walk 100 meters in a Cuban town without being hit up for something. I suspect it's because my appearance is like a neon light that says "tourist with money". Also, it's amazing how word gets around in a Cuban town. Cuban society demands things be done in a discreet manner. A tipoff is if an attractive, but conservatively dressed young woman striking up a conversation about how healthy she is. If she's "respectible", she will want you to take her to another province. There's also what I call "the lecture". Either she or a relative will communicate how you're expected to keep her out of trouble. That means among other things:

    1) Rent her an extra room all her own at the bed and breakfast so that government inspectors don't identify her as your guest in the registry. In exchange, it's OK to make it clear that you'll be making nocturnal visits to her room.
    2) When walking together, follow the "10 meter rule" so that she isn't identified as being with you
    3) Have her sit in the front seat of the taxi and acknowledge in advance that the the driver will identify her as his girlfriend if questioned by the police for her fraternizing with a tourist
    4) Don't discuss your arrangement with anyone
    So your wife's "empathy" is giving enough money for a meal, and your empathy is giving enough money for a meal conditioned upon her entering into a criminal conspiracy to be a prostitute for you? That does not sound like empathy, but being a predator against the most desperate and vulnerable young women. Did I read your messages correctly?

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    Re: How to walk past a thousand malnourished people?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    So your wife's "empathy" is giving enough money for a meal, and your empathy is giving enough money for a meal conditioned upon her entering into a criminal conspiracy to be a prostitute for you? That does not sound like empathy, but being a predator against the most desperate and vulnerable young women. Did I read your messages correctly?
    Not exactly. The reward for providing sexual favors is a cell phone, a bus ticket to anywhere in Colombia plus USD 20 for meals on the way. The reward for giving us a two hour tour of the encampment, educating us on what life was like in Venezuela is the best lunch available withing walking distance. After such a tour, we noticed that people acted like they were glad to see us there.

    No criminal conspiracy. It's legal in Colombia.
    Rules for men:
    1. Give as little as possible. 2. Take as much as possible.
    3. Always have an exit. 4. Enjoy your life to the fullest.

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