Recently I came across (yet another) startup that I've fallen head-over-heels in love with: A TechStars Seattle graduate called Maptia. They allow travelers to take moments from their adventures across the globe and encapsulate them in an ever-growing online archive, beautifully designed. When I found out they were looking for contributors, I naturally emailed them immediately. "200 words and one photo" were my parameters; after traveling so much and experiencing so many incredible moments, how was I to choose just one?! After some thought, I narrowed it down to one of my favorite and life-altering moments, taking place in the Langa Township outside of Cape Town, South Africa. A group of us were there for a project with UN, but little did we know that researching a video game would completely change us.
The post, which can be found on Maptia's Blog, is just one of many moments to have been featured. Below you'll find I've copied and pasted my moment and added the photo I submitted, and the beautiful map that Maptia created for me. I'm quite humbled to have been a part of it, and I'm also really looking forward to contribute more "moments" in the future. If you've got memorable moments from your travels, check them out!
"She was in a hit-and-run accident." our guide translated as the mother smiled sadly at her six year old, chair-bound daughter. "They broke her leg and just drove away. But she doesn't complain about the pain or not being able to walk; she's always smiling." And smiling she was. She was overcome with joy when we'd take her picture and show her, then she'd prompt us to do it again so she could grin even wider. Even in this dirty, one bedroom hut in the Langa Township outside of Cape Town, South Africa, where she had been recovering for over a month, "Life is good." Her mother sighed, "We're just happy she's alive and healthy."
It was in this moment I realised that we in the first world take so much for granted, and that happiness is prevalent in even the darkest situations. Really makes you think about, and appreciate, everything we have in our lives. This family certainly did, even if the only thing they really had was each other. After a quick game of patty-cake, we were on our way. But I'll never forget her smiling face and how it changed my outlook on life, forever.