Growing up as an only child I made out pretty well. You almost can’t help but be spoiled by your parents in some way. And I must admit that I enjoyed it; my own room, T.V., computer, stereo, all the material possessions that I had. But there was one event in my life that would change the way that I looked at these things and realized that you can’t take these things for granted and that’s not what life is about. When I was seventeen years old and going into my senior year of high school I was given the opportunity to go on a trip to Spain with my school.
It was a two week trip during the summer, visiting different cities and historical sites throughout the country. While we where there we went to see a Flamenco dance show in Seville which is about an hour and a half outside of Madrid, the city where we were staying. It was a Wednesday around one o’clock when we left and the ride up there was really beautiful. We were driving through the country side passing some small villages on the side of the road. We arrived there around 3:30 and sat down for the show. It was really cool they had all the ladies with their bright dresses and fruit in their hair dance around while we ate lunch. And the show ended around five and we started to head home.
On the way home we were driving through the countryside along side a small village when all of a sudden we heard a loud bang and the bus started slowing down. After a couple of minutes of confusion we realized that we had gotten a flat tire. So we all had to get off the bus only to find out that it would take 3 hours for another bus to come and pick us up.
We were just hanging out on the side of the road, being bored out of our minds when my friend and I, being the adventure seekers that we are, asked our chaperone if she would take us into the village that was a couple hundred yards away from where we were stopped. At first she wasn’t up for it because she wasn’t really familiar with the area and she didn’t want to impose, but after a little bit a begging she agreed. So the seven of us took off to the village. As we walked into it we were all in amazement.
It was like something we would only see in the movies. We noticed that it was a very poor village. All the houses if you would want to call them that were made out of stuff you would find laying around at your local garbage dump; rope, wood, sheets of metal, anything that would just hold together. There were a couple of goats and cows walking around. We saw children running around in the dirt with barely any clothes on. We met a man named Pablo and he started walking around with us and introducing us to the people that lived there and most of the people were really friendly, sharing a little bit of their lives to us.
Some of them looked at us like we had four heads. Some of the people even let us look inside their huts. Pablo was explaining to us that they had running water but only at four faucets that were spread out around the village.
So if you wanted to take a bath or wash your clothes you had to go and fill up three of four buckets and take them back to your house. They also had electricity but only one light bulb in the whole house, two if you were lucky. No televisions or phones. They had two pickup trucks for the whole village. And every morning all the men would pile up in the back to go to work in the city for the day.
So we concluded our little tour with Pablo, thanking him for all of his help and we walked back to the road and waited another forty-five minutes for the bus to come and pick us up.On the ride home I got chance to think about what had just happened. And I realized that these people were living without all the material things that I had back at home and they were still happy. And it taught me that you have to be appreciative for all those extras you have in life and it made me realize how lucky I was to be in the situation that I was in