When I travel I like to find out what I can about the lives of the people where they live. I'm curious to know what are their hopes and dreams. In environments of deep poverty, what is their motivation? In areas where the government is oppressive to its people, either because of their gender or station in life, what keeps them going?
I've learned hope is the great panacea for the masses. I guess that's what Karl Marx meant when he said "religion is the opiate of the people ". Religion, any religion, gives people hope, and that's enough to placate them in an otherwise hopeless environment. So what are the hopes people have? That's a question I've posed in my travels.
I tend to talk more with the young when I ask that question. For two reasons, firstly because it is more likely the young speak better English. But more importantly, the young have more hope. The older generation tend to give up or be resigned.
Some people I've talked with who've expressed their hopes:
These boys love to play soccer (football to them of course). They are like many others I've encountered. They want to play professionally when they're of age. The odds are astronomical but they are undeterred. Hope springs eternal?
I've mentioned this guy in another post (https://www.kirkstravelstories.com/post/golfing-in-egypt)
He was not one of my favorite people, but he did express his hopes. He worked as the golf pro at the golf resort I stayed in Egypt. He had no delusions to be a professional golfer on the circuit, he just wasn't that good.
His hope was like many I encountered. He wanted to move to the United States, the land of opportunity. He was not shy about asking if there was anything I could do to expedite this for him. Of course, I cannot. But I found that to be a common hope in my travels.
I featured this boy's photo on a previous post;
His hope was much simpler. He just wanted an operation to restore his ability to walk.
These girls were eager to share their art with me:
Their hope lay with their talents. Will it be enough to lift them from a certain life of hardship?
But my favorite was 10 year old Myusha:
She never expressed any hopes to me. She was always content in the moment. I wish I could be more like her.