The homeless

By gregebersole

January 16, 2011

Category: Travel

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When I was talking to my friend yesterday near Parque San Antonio, we discussed living in Cali compared to other cities in Colombia. She said she liked the people in Cali, but not the city that much. She thought that the city didn’t work hard enough to solve their problems, such as the homeless. She likes Medellin and said it seems to be more progressive with dealing with problems. I know there are a lot of homeless people in Cali, but thought that was a problem throughout the country. I see people sleeping on the street all the time and almost anywhere I go. I also see shopkeepers helping them by giving them food and coffee or water. Today, while I was eating lunch at Nueva Paola, there was a young man in tattered clothes sitting across the street. I felt bad eating a good meal while he was obviously hungry for anything. Later, one of the employees brought out some bread for him and filled his water container. After I finished my lunch, I left and went over to him and gave him most of my change. He was very appreciative. Many of these guys do through the trash containers, looking for things they can recycle and sell for a little coin. They also look for food or old clothes. Almost anything could possibly be used for something. I don’t have any income, but I know I’m much better off than these people. I try to give some money out when I see some of the ones that seem to really need the help the most. I’ve met several homeless guys during my stay here. I’m friends with at least three. My friend, Liceth, says I have so many friends. She says it’s because I’m so friendly and talkative. She says I trust everyone and will talk to anyone. I actually used to be quite shy. Working for newspapers forced me to be able to meet and talk to almost anyone from any background or social status. I needed to quickly establish contact and friendship with people in order to photograph them. Liceth says it’s good I have so many friends since we can learn something from everyone. I believe she’s right on about that. I’ve tried to learn something or take something valuable away from everyone I’ve known or met. Ha! I don’t mean steal something valuable from them. I guess I mean that I take away something mentally that I can use in my life. Perhaps, to make me a better person. The guy in the photo above was sleeping on the entrance walkway to a large Catholic church, which was having mass inside at the time.

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