Thursday, 9 April 2015

Little Green Teddy

Random one today, but I wanted to share a story with you all from my time in Brazil (5 years ago this year!) which I always find so humbling and touching. In the picture below you will see a plastic green teddy bear...

You might be wondering why on earth I'm going to write a blog post about this teddy. You might be wondering how I can actually even write a blog post about this teddy. After all its only a plastic toy right? 

Wrong. When I was in Brazil back in 2010, we went with a team of people who regularly visited the street children on one of the busiest roads in Belo Horizonte (the third biggest city in Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais). This was something they did often, and something they were very prepared for. Unfortunately, I don't think many of our additional team were prepared at all. I kept a diary whilst I was in Brazil, and the pages I wrote after visiting this street are very upsetting to read. 

There was a massive group of homeless people when we arrived, and we were quite shocked at that anyway despite having seen the homeless in England. Children as young as 7 were there without parents, there were pregnant teenagers and if I'm honest some of the people were actually quite intimidating and scary. I remember being quite upset, and having to walk away because I knew I couldn't stop the tears. After a while though, we all settled in and got chatting to the people and put our upset away. The majority of these people were high, with many of them sniffing dirty rags covered in paint thinner. It was very tough emotionally, especially seeing those as young as 7 doing this. 

Anyway, we played games with them (street uno is a very interesting one rules wise!), and one of the members of the team brought along their guitar so we had a little sing song, and all of a sudden it was time to leave. One of the smaller children turned to me and thrust this little green teddy into my hand. I tried so hard to give it back, but he refused and wanted me to take it with me. This was such a small action, but its one that has stayed with me since that visit and will stay with me for years to come I have no doubts about it. Here was a boy, of around 10 years old, giving me probably one of his only toys. He was so selfless, and it really made me think. At 10 years old, I was in year six, doing well, and enjoying my final year of primary school. I had a lovely home, and family to go to after school and we went on the most fantastic family holiday that summer!

Whenever I see this teddy, I will always think of that selfless little boy. Perhaps there are great lessons to learn from this little green teddy; if someone in such a terrible situation can be so generous and considerate then, so can I. I will always love this story, despite it being so sad as well!

Have you ever had an experience like this?


  1. This is beautiful to read! I'm going to Thailand to stay with hill tribes and volunteer in an elephant sanctuary which I imagine will be a similar culture shock x


    1. Its such a nice story, even though the situation was so sad. That cute little boy will stay with me forever! Oh wow, that sounds absolutely incredible. I'm sure it will be, but worth it, and you will have some amazing memories that will stay with you forever, as well as learning alot. Have a fabulous time! xx


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