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Jordan, Petra's children

posted Jul 29, 2010, 6:23 PM by Beatriz Posada   [ updated Apr 30, 2012, 3:30 PM ]
    As you might have seen two posts ago, Petra is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It may look perfect to the naked eye, but it isn't. Petra is a big magnet for tourists, and the locals know it. This is why when in Petra you can't help noticing how many children offer souvenirs and services for us tourists. It is a tricky thing dealing with children, because at first they'll break your heart. They are so enthusiastic and good at selling anything that they end up persuading you into buying what they are selling. To any tourist this might seem like a good deed, buying from a kid that is under the sun most of the day, and whose family might need money, but it isn't. 

    This is how is used to think before, until it was explained to me how damaging it is, and how buying from children makes them fall into an endless cycle. It was best explained to me by a professor I had in Morocco, Professor Lahcen. He told me that by buying from kids it makes them skip school. The more people buy from them, the more excited they get they are making money, and they eventually stop going to school. I believe education is the key to success in life, although there are many exceptions of people making it in life with no education whatsoever, these are exceptions, and regular people rely on education to have a successful life. Jordan's education system is one of the highest in developing countries and it holds the first place in the whole Arab world, so it is a shame to see these kids loose these opportunities the country has to offer. 

    Long story short, even if it breaks your heart, try not to buy from children because in the long run you are actually helping them.

Three kids riding a donkey, if you pay them they'll let you ride it.

Seeing the mom is quite rare, they often maintain their distance but still manage to keep an eye on them. 

This girl was selling postcards. I love this picture because I was following her from behind with my camera hanging from my neck. I was waiting for her to turn around, and without looking through the camera, she turned, I took the picture, and it came out really nice.

I think she looks so beautiful with that outfit and the little bag

This girl was sitting there crying, and my friend Alyaa noticed her, so we went over there to see what was wrong. She had cut her leg by mistake with something, and she was bleeding a little bit. Alyaa was so nice going to get her a band-aid, she was so surprised by it she ended up giving us some postcards. We insisted it wasn't necessary and she insisted so much we ended up taking them. I thought is was a nice gesture on both sides, Alyaa's and the little girl's side.

Postcards again, on the left side you can see the ruins of the amphitheater.

I love this picture, I'll let you make the story.

This boy is a bit older, he was offering us a donkey for the ride back. We were so tired I ended up agreeing, camel rides are so over-prized, donkeys are the best option.

Running to catch some tourists with postcards on the right hand.