On the other side of the road

If you are a Facebook friend of mine, you know that I often post pics of flowers.

Most of these flowers I found in the neighborhood we live in. I took most of the pictures while I was out walking my dog. I was recently surprised by the amount of new flowers that have popped up recently since now we are in the dry season. My thought process of flowers only blooming after a good rain is a bit off. Some bloom after drying out, I guess.

Last week, Tabitha and I took a short trip to Lake Atitlan and stayed in San Antonio Palopo. It was a cheap trip but fully enriched in sights, sounds (fireworks, of course) and smells.

We took our dog with us, which meant a couple more walks a day than what I am used to doing, but she loved it. As we exited out Air B&B, if we turned left it went into the village, but left was just a winding dirt road. We often turned right.

Not too far along the route, a new house was under construction. It looked out on the lake, and it's fence had flowers growing on it. It was a lovely vista.

But on the other side of the road, was the local dump with heaping piles and a constant smoldering fire going among the plants and flowers. It was a contrast to the lovely vista to just change your point of view.

Smoke rises from smoldering fires in the dump, yet some flowers bloom.

In the dump, vultures fought over whatever scraps they could find. But there weren't many because people there don't throw away much. They reuse and re-purpose most of their waste.

Even still, there are people who spend all day in the dump, sorting through the filth to find something of use. The people I saw in the dump were children. That makes sense since I could only see near the top and the lighter weight of child means they get to be on top of the pile.

People living in dumps is common here in Guatemala. Ministries focus on serving them, trying to educate them. I imagine this is something which occurs in underdeveloped countries.

It makes me think about the book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" by Katherine Boo, which chronicles her stay in a dump in India. My friend, Lisa Adams, raved about the book, as do I. It left a mark in my mind that while there is injustice and corruption throughout the world, it is in the impoverished areas that this is not only more prevalent but is more costly.

Most of what I have posted have been positive, the lake view with the flowers. I do this mostly because I don't want people to worry that I'm in danger. I also want to educate people on some of the positive aspects of the country that I currently call home. Actually, I take pictures around me, and where I am is safe and beautiful. (I also want people to come visit me.)

I do not have to travel far to see things I do not want to see. But I must remember something I heard in a recent sermon. Some may see the glass as half empty, while others see it half full. However, no matter what else you put in the glass, what is in it to begin with is still there. So, as I see things I do not want to see, like people suffering in poverty, I will remember things I do want to see, like flowers, people I love and God's grace, and think that we work to make one less than the other,

Now and then I will show you what's on the other side of the road, just remember what's already in the glass.

Vultures fight over garbage in the dump.

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