Monday, February 23, 2009

The Other Side Of The Wall

Remember Linmas? He and his mother, Ibu Tika, dropped by our house a couple of weeks ago. I finally found out where they lived and today, we dropped in on them.

Our housing area has a wall around its perimeter with several entrances. Linmas' family lives in the area immediately outside the south (i think) wall. It took us 5 minutes to walk there.

Once outside the wall, the roads are more like muddy lanes. And, the houses are immediately about one fifth the size of the houses around here. We saw chickens, geese, and ducks. Some houses were put together with bits of scrap wood and zinc. Others were made of brinks but not painted. There were people everywhere, chatting and laughing. Children playing with marbles or just running around. It was a very different scene to where we live.

Anyway, we found Linmas's house easily. His mother seemed a little shocked and embarrassed to see us. She kept saying her house was dirty and small. It was actually larger than I thought it would be but the condition inside was worse. There were holes in the zinc roof and the walls were partitioned by plywood.

I was really hoping that she would feel comfortable with me there. Aaron helped me with that. As soon as he saw Linmas, they started running around. They don't have chairs and laid down a mat in front of a small TV. There was a grubby looking pillow there but Aaron dove into it and buried his face in it. Instinctively, I felt myself tense up at that but I just let go. Linmas and him were soon wrestling around with it.

Linmas did not have a single toy. Seriously. Zero. They just played hide and seek. And then after awhile, Linmas took Aaron outside to visit some of his friends. It was a safe area with absolutely no cars. The kids just walk about freely. They all played with some marbles after awhile. The older boys were very tolerant of Aaron ruining their game.

I sat down on the floor to chat with Ibu Tika and she seemed more comfortable after awhile. I hope that in the end, she realized that I didn't mind the way her house was at all.

Here is some irony for you. When Linmas comes to our house, they play with Aaron's modest supply of toys. Its not a lot but I believe its more than enough for Aaron.

Anyway, when Ibu Tika says its time to go, Linmas obediently drops everything and leaves. Instantly.

Today, when I said it was time to leave. Nothing happened. I even tried bribing with promises of watching a Thomas DVD at home. Nothing worked. Aaron was having such a good time.

I did finally manage to drag him away without causing too much embarrassment to myself. We're definitely dropping in on them again. Its lovely living on this side of the wall but it looks to me that Aaron is going to have a lot more fun on the other side!


John said...

It always amazes me to find out how differently people can be living..and so close to us. I know that I have been blessed beyond measure, but in even in our modest living we are far richer than many people.

It is so beautiful that kids don't see these things as great differences. Aaron didn't think of his friend as being in want, and his friend wasn't embarrassed to have Aaron over. We can learn a lot from the innocence of our kids!

Amanda said...

Hi John,
You are so right about the kids. They are all the same in each other's eyes - playmates.

Bilbo said...

John said everything I wanted to say, better. This was a great post!

Nap Warden said...

Well said Amanda...and John:)

Mike said...

I agree with Bilbo agreeing with what John said.