When we arrived at Bombay and did some shopping. I met this amazing girl. Her name is Bonna. The story of how we met goes like this. I walked around with a bag of toiletries that I had collected from all the hotels we have been staying in, I also had 2 mangoes and an apple hoping to find children to give them to. The food was the first thing I gave to the children. As we walked to the markets, there were two kids that looked malnourished and were begging us for money. I gave them each a fruit.
I was down to my last mango and I gave it to a little boy who was walking around in the heat without any shoes. In the second that I handed the boy the mango, a girl whom I learned was named Bonna, automatically realizes that I have been giving food and she comes up to me. She asked me for a mango hoping to get one, but unfortunately, I had to say that I had no more mangoes.
Bonna begged and begged for a mango. Hoping that she would be satisfied with something else, I gave her a shampoo bottle. She still wanted the mango. She followed us for a while. Others in the group gave her change and a couple rupees.
This was a rare occasion in which I actually got to interact with children living in the slums. Therefore, I decided to strike up conversations with her. She told me about her family, about the kids in the neighborhood; including the small little boy I gave the mango to. He happened to a buddy of hers and they look out for each other even though they are not related. After I started shopping I asked her for suggestions on how much I should pay for certain things (making sure it is not overpriced). Many of the vendors gave her dirty looks like if they knew her and spoke to her in Hindi. I would walk away from them whenever that would happen.
After a short while, she started helping me, Laura and Lisbeth bargain; this is when I became fond of her. I gave her the whole bag of toiletries that I had been saving for other children. She was ecstatic. We then went on walking with her teaching her Spanish. We taught her how to say “pretty” in Spanish and she repeated “bonito” at every piece of clothing she saw. She caught on fast on certain pronunciations.
Minutes later, we realized none of our classmates were around us and we were late to get on the bus! The bus was a couple of blocks away and we weren’t sure if we were going the right way. Bonna then decided to take the lead and helps us find our bus. She helped us cross the busy streets of Bombay with ease. We were all very grateful. Laura then decided to buy her a mango, a mango she had been wanting the whole time. Her face lit up when she received it.
I will never forget her or any of the children that live day by day struggling to survive. This interaction was one that made me reflect on my own lifestyle. How I always need this, I can’t live without that. Looking at the twitter feed #FirstWorldProblems shows how spoiled we are here in the United States. It was apparent that everywhere we walked we were somewhat privileged. It is something that we should be aware of. Being born in the United States is a blessing in itself, we may have problems, but they definitely don’t compare to those in other countries.
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