Good evening, dear GSC people and friends,
on the end of the fourth campaign day, my flatmate Lutz and I agreed that it was not so easy to run a fair competition with people who are really underprivileged when we are benefiting hugely from our own social background and our privileged environment. Yesterday’s dinner was an invitation from our guests who would probably not have stayed with us if we had been living in a mouldy shack next to an illegal waste dump. For lunch I was invited today by one of my coworkers who bought me extremely tasty fish skewers and fried banana. She was not aware of my participating in a poverty challenge and I would not have wanted to reject her invitation since hospitality and solidarity are core values in the Tanzanian society. Counting in a favorable way, today’s food cost me 2,900 Shilling, including water (1.32 Dollar) which wouldn’t be a bad result. Counting the things I really consumed, the bill would rather have looked like 6900 Shilling (3.14 Dollar). To a western observer this might seem ridiculous, in Tanzania it marks the difference between the poor and the middle class.
Finally Lutz and I found three cynical pieces of advice that we would like to give to those who are not spending more than 1.25 Dollar per day to survive:
- Especially when you spend less, you should see that you eat enough. It is not the lack of money that is harmful to you but the lack of food.
- You should have more people inviting you, then you are going to save on food and can invite them in return.
- Finally food is an important part of any culture. Why save on it so eagerly? Deprive yourself of going shopping sometimes or other money-wasting stuff and enjoy your favourite dish together with friends instead.
The waste challenge went quite well. Today I guess that I produced not more than one litre of waste although it was hard to say since I disposed of it in different places. So I do not know whether to see it as a success or more as a hidden defeat.
If nothing else since my fundraising is not working as well as I could wish the Global Solidarity Challenge at least makes things more visible for me that I had only theoretically thought about before. We throw away our stuff in so many different places that we cannot remember at the end of the day what impact we left. Later we ask ourselves why the cities are so dirty, especially in developing countries. Every piece of scrap once started as something shiny and useful.
The success in getting closer to the 1.25 Dollar mark is so far mainly bought from my social status. Squatters do not take part in regattas, they have no visitors from Malawi and they have no nice colleagues from the Legal Department of the fire service who invite them for lunch.
To support the Global Solidarity Challenge (GSC) 2016, follow this link to my campaign page at VIDEA: http://solidarity.videa.ca/participantpage.asp?fundid=1846&uid=3419&role=1
The world keeps going, on whatever budget you live. These are the images of the day: