For the first five years of my life, I lived overseas in a developing country. Thankfully, my family weren’t poor like my neighbours and my dad worked in Australia supporting my family and I while we waited for our visa applications to be processed. This took many years as my mother had health issues to address and eventually they were but during that time I learned a lot. I learn’t just how lucky I was to have a dad in another country sending back money each month.
This provided my family and I food and housing in a place where basic food was considered a luxury. I never starved, I never understood what it meant to go hungry in a place where so many did. I learned from a very young age that life is not fair, I was given an opportunity because I was born to two people who were able to give me all I needed in life. Not every child is given that opportunity. Throughout the formative years of my childhood I would walk a lone in the streets, something that is not done in Australia, or many parts of the world. I noticed the skinny, dirty covered children, much older than I, they could not afford proper clothes. They could not go to school. Many begged in the streets, and when my dad came to visit us, he would give these children money.
I remember how happy the children looked, it was nothing to my dad but probably a few good meals to them. To this day, I look back and think about that kindness. How lucky I am to live in a country with so many opportunities and kind people. I am lucky I no longer live in a developing country but I take so many lessons from the time I spent there.
I try not to be greedy, even if it’s as simple as seeing my favourite Jalna yoghurt on sale. True story, there were only two containers of Jalna yoghurt left, I only took one despite my love of yoghurt because I thought, someone else would probably appreciate half price yoghurt as much as I do. Silly as that may be, I try my best even now to consider other people when making decisions. I give to charity when I can. I don’t take more than I need because I realise how lucky I have it and in an ideal world, it would be nice if everyone could have enough to meet their needs. Not necessarily their wants.
I want to try and improve myself and be a better person, I want to help others because I grew up in a place where everyone needed help and so few of those that could help did. This is my experience of growing up in a developing country. Not a luxury holiday but the reality of the workers and starving poor that the luxury holidays and tours gloss over.
Posted anonymously, 11th May 2015