On the first day, within maybe an hour of boarding the ship, we were getting our lunch while our luggage was being delivered to our rooms. One thing that amazed me were the amount of people that work on the ship. Seriously so many and they are everywhere and are so helpful. Anyway, we were eating lunch with a few of Randal's friends and one in particular I had never met before, but I had heard Randal talk about him and he seemed to like him well enough. Well there was a table that was dirty but it was out of the sun so we were waiting for it to be cleaned up and while one of the employees was cleaning, this boy looked at him and starting clapping his hands and saying "chop chop, hurry it up!". I was instantly mad. Like I said, I have never met him before but I flat out told him, "don't say that to someone around us again". He bumbled and mumbled something and I just told him again, "If you want to sit with us, you will not act like that. That's incredibly rude." He got kind of quiet and didn't really look at me in the eyes for the rest of the trip. haha.
But I'm so glad I said something. People should not be allowed to treat others like that!
Anyway, so that was something that bothered me about the cruise. Some people, certainly not everyone, treated the workers like they were second class citizens. I couldn't believe it. But on the other hand, I did see a few people going out of their way to thank the workers. That was so nice to see.
That incident bugged me but not to the point that I was too upset. But after our trip to Costa Maya I ended up coming back to our room and just crying. This was the poorest place we went and these people had nothing. Everything that was "fancy" was simply for our enjoyment. I remember while everyone was playing volleyball on the beach, I looked over and saw a bunch of school aged kids riding 2 to a bike to school (I'm assuming anyway). They had tattered uniforms and they just looked at us as they rode by.
It broke my heart.
I felt like why do I deserve to be waited on by these people and demand that they help me. I should be helping them! There was one boy walking around selling banana chips and salsa (they were delicious) for 2 dollars but everyone was able to talk him down to selling them for 1 dollar instead. Someone even mentioned that he looked sad that he had to sell them cheaper, but he did it anyway, knowing that we wouldn't buy it if he didn't. Now, I know I'm to blame too because I LOVE to get the best deal. I will never buy something like that if I know I can talk someone into giving it to me cheaper. It's like a game for me. But then I had to realize that this it isn't a game for them. This is their livelihood. Realistically, I can afford to pay 2 dollars for banana chips. A dollar extra may not mean that much to me, but it may mean a lot to them.
Like I said in my other cruise post, I got a massage on the beach in Costa Maya. Randal was able to talk the ladies into giving me one for 15 dollars. Before he left, he stuffed cash into my hands to give to them when I was done. I didn't know how much he gave me, but I was planning on giving them just the 15. That was until I looked down and saw through that little hole where you put your head during the massage the shoes of two women who were giving me my massage. Their shoes were in such bad shape and their pants too. I felt so uncomfortable lying their as they "worked" for me. I can't explain it, but I just felt so sad and guilty. After the massage was finished I looked at the cash and was so thankful that Randal had given me 21 dollars. I gladly handed over all the money and left. Later Randal asked me for the change and said he had given me 21 so that I could get 5 dollars back and give her a dollar tip. He said he knew I would give her all the money haha. He knows me well.
Later back on the ship while I was upset and we were talking about our day, we both decided that we were happy that I gave her the extra money. These people had nothing, and while as a student I may think that I am poor, I really am so blessed and I have so much that I can give.
This experience made me sad for others. I have never really been to a third world country before. I went to Mexico once with a previous boyfriends family, but for some reason it felt different. This experience really shook me up.
I'm not sure how to help, but I know that I want to. That I need to.
*I'm sorry this post is so long, but it is pretty truthful. I'm also not trying to blame anyone for getting anything cheaper, because I did the exact same thing.
And because every good blog post needs pictures...
|El Sallita. |