Poverty’s Design

There are many different scales by which to measure poverty: less than a dollar a day, being able to provide food, shelter, healthcare, emergency funds, stability, etc. Compared to many places in Senegal, my community is pretty well off in that the majority of the population can afford at least their food and house, which is either a gray concrete block or a thatched hut with some form of tin usually attached. When walking home from work, I have two views in front of me. On the right, there is the lush reserve where the different flora and fauna create a quilt of beauty. To my left though, is the plain and gaunt grey concrete wall that seems to never end – changing from wall to wall, house to house, and grey to grey to grey to grey. To be sure, this design is not representative of a culture which is full of so much character and color in every aspect of life. So here’s another face of poverty, shown by the simple fact that putting color into one’s life is almost always beyond ones means.