A Story of Loneliness, Love and Hope from La Paz, Bolivia
This is a story that involves sorrow, loneliness, love and hope. When there is hope, there is life, life that can transcend misery and sickness, people who trust one another by the love they receive from each other, are able to overcome their loss.
In the city of La Paz, the highest in the world as well as the poorest, in material means of South America, there are young people who are homeless and they live under the bridges and inside rocky mountains. Some of them are orphans, other have made couples and even have babies and young children living with them. Their health is very poor and they take glue to undermine their hunger and their loneliness.
There are two groups of NGO’s that take care of them the best way the can. One of them is a Methodist and they feed them once a week; the other is called Alalay, which in Quechua language means “It’s so cold.” Daniel is in charge of this group and he tries to be with them at night to feed them, and give them a space in which they are listened in their everyday hindrances.
We as Kundalini Group that tries to follow the teachings of our Beloved Yogi Bhajan, have arranged between Sham Kaur and myself, Hari Purkh Kaur, a Seva service every Saturday, with the rest of the group who have been working with them for quite a while.
The first day we attended was Saturday 28th, 2006. Sham and I dressed in white went off to the place they gathered, knowing that we will be there for them. Juan Carlos a young man who has recently joined our group doing Kundalini, generously took his car to transport the food as well as to share with us. It was a chilly morning, very cloudy, but the sun was shining in our hearts, because we felt we were following the example of Guru Ram Das in our service.
We arrived to this Park bordering Poeta’s Ave. There we saw this group of young people, looking so deprived and with a gaze of wild confusion, they all made a line to receive the food, they were looking at us with curiosity, and eager to know who we were. With humbleness we blessed the food and after they had their meal, we started talking to them, letting them know that there is teacher who made this possible who lives very far in physical distance, but very near to their needs and to their hearts, and that teacher is called Guru Bachan Singh Khalsa. We explained in a very simple way what this act solidarity meant; it is an act of love and of becoming friends.
One of them asked Sham Kaur, “where do you come from?” because of her turban and her veil, she replied I come from here La Paz, and also from somewhere else. This kid is named Alvaro, he was the most sensitive of all.
Alvaro realized that I was shivering, and he said “You are cold…. Let me give you my coat” it was an old coat, and I almost burst into tears, he in his misery was able to share the only thing he had, and did not care to suffer from coldness, but was no able to bare my own. I bless him and accepted his gesture of giving up the only coat he has in a chilly day.
Then we sang the religious songs the group knew well, and Sham comforted me in my intense emotion covered by not only a coat, but wit the unconditional love of this kid, who afterwards asked me “would you cure me?” He knew nothing about me; nevertheless, he saw in my soul that I am a clinical psychologist since 28 years ago.
After we fed this group we went two blocks further to another, you might ask why didn’t we fed them all at once. The answer is that we cannot bring them together, they get involve in riots with one another, so we understood why they all had terrible scars on their faces, result of all the fights they have among them.
In the second group there were young girls pregnant, we were shocked to learn that soon these children had to take care of another child when they cannot even take good care of themselves. Most of them are addicted to glue, and they seemed stoned.
They had their meal and we repeated what we had done with the previous group. This time they asked if they were going to see us again. We made a promise deep in our hearts, and this is, if they have been abandoned early in their lives, we are never going to let them fall in the bottomless pit of despair now.
After this visit, all I can say about myself is that I am not the same person any longer, something had crushed inside of me, and something was more alive: the desire to create a different reality for these human beings had emerge from that day to the present moment.
In my meditations I ask God for guidance and clarity, so with Sham, Juan Carlos and whoever would like to join us in this journey of peace and solidarity will take this path, so we can follow the footprints of Guru Ram Das, and make this world a better place for each and everyone of us.
Hari Purkh Kaur