These are words we live by when traveling in areas where we encounter children begging in the streets. These are words we ask our tour participants to live by when traveling with us. Slow down – you’re on vacation after all – and engage.
Smile. Share a joke. Share a riddle. A magic trick can hurdle any language barrier. Ask their name. Their age. What they think about this. What they think about that. Children are children the whole world ’round. Ask a child for his/her opinion and you may as well have asked them to star on Broadway.
There’s probably no way to quantify just how meaningful or significant this approach may be, but ask yourself this, how does it make you feel when someone wants to know what YOU think?
Now, if you simply cannot resist the urge to give stuff, give it to a local, recognized organization working to protect, educate, and empower the children in their own country.
Jessica Schugel is Owner and Tour Director at Buen Viaje Tours.