The other day, I saw my host brother, Diaxari, helping his younger brother write a correspondance letter to his Canadian pen-pal. First, I read the letter from the Canadian. This young boy recounted stories from his summer. He talked about going to the zoo, going on hikes, swimming at the pool and doing a peace walk. He also gave some info about his family and what his parents do.
In response, Diaxari wrote similar things, but as I read what he wrote, I noticed that some of these were lies. Why was he lying? I asked Diaxari a couple questions about what he wrote, but I felt that he was trying to hide some humility, so I didn't ask him why he was lying. For example, he told the Canadian that over the summer, he went to the National Park, he also did a peace walk and when he talked of his family, he said that his mother was a vendor and she had sold a lot of tomatoes (FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE FALSE!).
I began to wonder, why he felt the need to lie? What was wrong with saying that he played soccer with his friends, played cards with his American and Canadian friends, and helped his family in the fields? What did he think of the Canadian's letter? How was he imagining the life of this boy? Did he think it was better and so he wanted to fabricate his own life to sound more like the Canadian's? Is he not happy with his own?
I often wonder, what is happiness here? These days, more people have televisions, and they can see the Western life-style. It looks so clean, so shiny, so colorful and there's a bunch of stuff. And then, you look around here and see dust and dirt, rust and cracked ciment, it's dull and there's a whole lot of nothing. It's hard not to compare. Maybe, Diaxari was just trying to make himself feel better......