I've been thinking a bit more about poverty again recently through a film on youtube called "The End of Poverty" and a book on consumerism that I've been reading
Our experience of poverty in Peru has been quite varied. We visit the local hospital which is not very nice in comparison with the immaculate private hospital opposite, and Amanda has written previously about the situations she visited from the clinic which Anjanette visited. In contrast we live in an area of Cusco which appears to be relatively wealthy. A number of the people who live where we do are those who manage restaurants and hotels in the centre. But even in this area, there are still those who look through rubbish for things that they can use or sell.
The image of people, especially children going through rubbish is common, and in some ways it isn't surprising that it happens in Peru. However, I think it is the proximity of those of us with money and those who are less well of that is noticeable. Another aspect of this is the story of a girl called Chana. She comes to our kid's club, and enjoys all the activities, but spends her days on the streets in and around her grandmothers fruit stall. This is another example of the mixture of backgrounds and lives that are lived in such close proximity.
It is not easy to see how we should respond to this situation. Prayer and practical help are clearly important, but I wonder if there are other things we could do. Maybe the prayers could lead to other things...