Today, on Chatous, I met Marya. She’s 20 years old and from a place I’ve never heard of before called Ushuaia. Ushuaia looks and sounds like a winter wonderland. To describe it Marya said, “It’s a little fisher town, capital city of Tierra del Fuego province, it’s the southern tip of Argentina. It’s a land of glaciers, penguins and mountains, with dense pine tree forests everywhere.” So in my mind this is what Ushuaia looks like:
(Yes – That is Arendelle from Disney’s Frozen)
In reality this what Ushuaia looks like:
Which actually isn’t too far off.
Anyway, Marya is a pretty rad chick. She studies Zoology at the University and is in her 2nd year. She has two older brothers and a younger sister, as well as a seven yr old siberian husky called Amélie and a 6 yr old snowshoe cat called Dzíekí. Even though most of the population of Ushuaia is 60+ years old Marya finds ways to have “loads” of fun. She said that she frequently snowboards, hikes, plays ice hockey and tennis. In the summer she fishes and sails.
Pretty much Marya lives the dream.
(This is probably what Marya looks like, living the dream in Ushuaia)
But then Marya told me some pretty crazy things about the Argentinian government. She told me how corrupt it is and that for the last 12 years, its been the worst it’s ever been. A lot of production has stopped and infrastructure has been ruined without plans of rebuilding. She said “The rising poverty and crime in big cities has been a nightmare for us. All this generates a real social destabilization.” She also mentioned that many leaders of the country are involved in heavy narcotic trafficking.
I started to think about what that kind of oppression must be like and I felt bad for Marya… but then we started talking about her family and friends and she really put things into perspective for me. She said “my friends are iron friends, they’re people who would never let you down, we have nothing really, we’re middle class people, nobody is rich, still I’m sure we’re much happier than many rich ones. I think friendship is what makes you rich, anyway.”
And that’s why I’m glad I met Marya. She’s a beautiful soul living in a far away wintry land full of corruption and also beauty. She’s someone I might never have met otherwise, but I’m so glad I did. Talking to her made me realize how important it is to be grateful for what you have and also that relationships, not circumstance or material things, are what matter in life.
And that’s how Marya and I became friends.
If you have awesome stories about the people you’ve met on Chatous let me know! You can chat with me on Chatous whenever. I’m pretty much always on! My username is @andifromchatous.