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Archive for July, 2004

Peru Trip

Just got back yesterday from Peru, so i don’t have all the pictures
scanned in yet. Peru is considered a third world country. We went to a
city call Lima, then to the highland called Cusco, took a 4 day hike to
the Sacret Valley and Macchu Piccuh. The locals were very proud of their
inca heritage. The ruins were amazing. They are built not that long ago,
only maybe 400 years. But considering they are an isolated civilization
it is pretty amazing. The stone work for the temples were fabulous. They
developed a locking system with gold holding rings so they can withstand
large earthquakes. Being an agricultural community they worship the sun,
the water and the earth, and they developed quite a few instrumet to
measure things like first frost, sunrise and sunset time. They also
developed an extensive array of wall sized mirrors made of gold to reflect
the sun all around and into the temple. Unfortunately the governmet don’t
have the resource to reconstruct the stone work the same way the Incas
did, so you can clearly tell where the original stone were and where the
new one starts.

Come to think of it we kinda take for granted some of the social system
avaliable to the first world countries. A week before we were in Cuzco
there was a snow storm which distroy $7MM worth of crops. For some
farmers that’s half of their yield for the year. With their living
standard I can’t imagine they have much saved up for rainy days. In the
cities the people try very hard to make a living, mostly due to fiece
competition. Unlike in the States people are poor not because they don’t
want to do the work, but the lack of opportunities for advancement. In
many cases there is a simply a lack of capital. And there isn’t a well
established social safty net to help the poor. But the main problem I
think is the diffcult access to role models in a society with over 50% of
people in proverty. This particular problem has influence the social
economical advancement of some ethnic groups in the US. Everyone is so
busy making a living little attention is paid to investing in the future.
Which kinda makes me want to do something about it.

It is not that there is not enough resource for everyone in the world,
it’s just the distribution of it is skewed. I think eventually, no matter
have much first world countries doesn’t want, as logistics gets better,
there will be a redistribution of wealth in forms of agriculture and
manufacturing. Of course I always want more, but if I consider cutting my
salary in half, I can still live very comfortablly. But living standard
aside, I think the more importantly is the economic freedom that the third
world don’t have. The freedom to choose what we want to do, where we want
to live, which is much more than just the monetary value itself. Most of
the time first world countries tries to trade economic aid with issues
like conservations and human right. But in reality it is not that the
gov’t doesn’t want to do it, it’s just that they have to feed everyone
first. Which makes me thinks that with the modenization of China, a lot
of heritage will be gone in favor of the new found wealth. That’s
unfortunately inedvitable.

Add comment July 26th, 2004


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