life’s a beach

What could be better than a dip in the cool waters of the beach on a blistering hot summer day?

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Maybe a cold bottle of soda waiting by the beach hut, and most definitely a dab of sunblock on bare skin.

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Sitting in shallow waters, getting sand in our ears and in our underpants, tasting the salty water and the sting in our eyes…. there are a lot of childhood memories here from a time when the public beaches were wide open spaces and the only structures along the shores were wooden huts for rent.   I miss the feeling of drifting off in my bed with imaginary waves gently rocking me to sleep after a long day at the beach.

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The reverie was cut short by a crab fisherman name Joseph who was coming home for lunch.

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This is his home.  The walls are made of galvanized iron from torn roofs salvaged from the bay on the other side of the road.

He has been a crab fisherman for a long time and was able to send his 4 children to school.  Two of his children are in college, one in high school and another one in grade school.

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This is one of his finished nets for catching crabs.  He has some more unfinished nets that need lead sinkers.

Joseph hopes that all his children will find better opportunities someday, and that none of them will need to fish for a living.

 

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20 thoughts on “life’s a beach

  1. I have a couple questions that may seem stupid but I come from a part of the world where we have services, administrations and techology at our fingertips that 1) are the status quo, 2) we take for granted and 3) leaves us frighteningly ignorant of the rest of the world. In order to not appear insulting, many don’t ask questions and continue blissfully living in ignorance.

    I don’t want to be ignorant. I want to learn, so I’m asking:

    How do people who live in shaks like Joseph’s, and so far away from the built up cities, save and bank their money in order to afford to send their kids to college? How do they do it without someone stealing it from them?

    • The answers to your questions will make a good photo documentary which would be worthy of a long term engagement, but here’s a short version, and could only be one of many possibilities.

      Most of the shacks are about 15 square meters, or the size of a decent hotel room. There isn’t much furniture inside, and most don’t even have a dining table. The floor serves as the table as well as their sleeping spaces. The bigger the family, the more crowded it is.

      This area is still within the city limits, going downtown is a 10 minute ride on public transportation.

      They rarely have a bank account, most of them exist only from hand to mouth. Major expenses are covered by loans/assistance from family, friends, neighbors, the occasional loan shark and the politicians.

      Theft in these neighborhoods is not so common. The community is usually large and there is usually somebody who is always at home. I’m sure things are more complicated than what I’ve just explained.
      I did have plans to make photo essays of what life is like in a day of a fisherman or a tricycle driver. Maybe I should pursue it. Thanks for the interest, Allan.

  2. E
    Excellent story telling once again, Times keep changing fast, we just have our memories to hold on to.. Bless Joseph and the family. May there be abundance of crabs to catch. It may not be Christmas everyday for his family, but there is” Santa Claus” the whole year thru!!:):)

  3. All of us want a better life for our children than we had growing up. It’s sad but our newest generation is the first in over 100 years that started in worse condition due to increasing debt load, poor politicians in office and schools that are ranked nowhere near the top 25 in the world. Students, if they graduate, are burdened with a heavy debt load from student loans. Few can afford a home of their own. Something must change or the United State will go the way of Rome and Egypt.

    • Bob, if that trend continues, maybe the situation will be akin to ours in another 100 years.
      As for us here, politicians steal from the already poor people. Population is ever increasing with the greater numbers coming from families who can barely make ends meet. Quality education is going down the drain.

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