内容

我为流浪街头人士提供早餐
They did not choose to be homeless: my volunteer program “Feed the Hungry”

“整整两年多,我天天露宿街头。”听到这句话时我的心不禁为之一沉。坐在我面前的这个无家可归的女人脸色黑枯憔悴,两眼黯淡无光。她的衣服又脏又破,鞋子则是从街边捡来的。引起我注意的是她头上拿顶边上系着一条小小的红丝带的可爱的草帽,她告诉我,“这是我妈妈去世前带过的,也是她留给我的唯一遗物。”

  “I haven’t had a place to sleep in over two years.” My heart sank when I heard those words. Sitting in front of me was a homeless woman with dark, haggard face with sullen eyes. Her clothes were dirty and falling apart, and her shoes were picked up off the side of street. The one thing I noticed was her cute straw hat that had a small red ribbon tied on the side. “It was the last thing my mother wore before she died. It’s the only thing I have left.” 

她也是我第一个曾进行过较深度交流的女性流浪者。她告诉我说,她父亲在中国去世后,她便和母亲还有姐姐一起来到了加拿大。熟料在抵埠加拿大数年后,她的姐姐和母亲也先后去世,只剩下疾病缠身的她孤身一人生活,从那时起她便成了一名街头流浪者。

She was the first homeless woman that I ever had a deep conversation with. She told me she came to Canada with her sister and mother after her father passed away in China. A few years after coming to Canada, both her sister and mother died, leaving her to battle her illness alone. Since then, she has become homeless.

我是在参加学校组织的“为流浪人士提供早餐”志愿者活动的过程中遇到这名流浪女性。在那段时间里,我每周六早上的闹钟都会定在6点响起。在大部分人还在沉浸在周末的甜甜的睡梦中的凌晨时分,天色仍然黑暗,太阳还没有升起,但我却会强迫自己起床,然后踏上前往市区的30分钟路途。

I came to meet this woman through a volunteering program at my school – “Feed the Hungry”. My alarm would go off at 6:00 am every Saturday morning. While most people were still enjoying their weekend sleep in, I would drag myself out of bed and begin my 30-minute commute downtown, as it was still dark and the sun had not risen above the horizon. 
 
这名流浪女性的讲述令我深深感受到流浪街头人士的痛苦。对于生活在富裕家庭的我来说,不仅从小衣食无忧,居有定所,我还可以享受到穿名牌衣服,拥有自己的卫生间,并且想吃什么就能吃到什么的富足生活。但是,这名流浪女性却不得不苦等几个小时才能得到果腹的食物,她只能孤身露宿街头,身边甚至连一个家人都没有。
             
I felt the homeless woman’s pain through her story. Coming from a well-to-do family, not only do I have food on the table, a roof over my head or clothes to put on, I also enjoy the privilege of wearing designer clothes, using my own washroom, and getting to choose whatever I want to eat. But this homeless woman would have to wait hours to get whatever the food was provided. She would sleep on the streets, and do not even have a single family member with her.  
 
去年,我被分配到该项目的重要职位,即服务窗口,因此也得以有机会直接接触到那些依赖于我们所提供的食物维生的流浪人士们。这个机会对我来说非常珍贵。为无家可归的人服务让我在精神上得到满足,但也时常会让我百感交集。

 This past year I was assigned a privileged position of serving at the window, which gave me the opportunity to have a direct contact with those who relied on the food we served to get by. I’ve found this opportunity deeply rewarding, but it also left me grappling with mixed emotions from time to time.

目睹这些流浪人士极其恶劣的生存环境的我,常常为之动容。我曾记得一个带着六岁大的孩子来窗口取餐的男子。看到这么小的孩子来取早餐,我悄悄地给了他们俩增加了餐量,他接过食物时因感激而落泪,而我也因此也亦喜亦悲。

 It was hard to see these people going through such harsh living conditions. I remember one man brought his six-year-old son with him. Seeing such a small child, I secretly gave the two a bigger portion of food to them.  Tears in gratitude were streaming down his face that left me feeling both sad and happy. 
 
但我服务过的大部分流浪人士脸上总是带着明亮而开心的笑容。他们常常会以“早上好!”来问候我,并会深深感谢我们的服务感激不尽。有些人甚至会打趣逗乐聊上两句,以开朗的心态为这些黑暗的清晨带来了一线光明。

Most people I served always show their brightest and happiest smile. They would always say things such as “Good Morning!” and gave their big thanks for the meal. Some would even crack a joke and start up a conversation. It was those people that made those dark mornings just a little bit brighter.

在璀璨霓虹和摩天大楼的反衬下,繁华的市区更显光彩活力。但是在这绚丽妩媚的形象背后,也隐藏着这座城市黑暗丑陋的一面,那就是处在社会底层的流浪阶层。通过参加“Feed the Hungry”志愿者活动,我震惊地发现在这个富裕而发达的国家里所藏匿着的流浪人士的世界,这个一直饱受世人歧视的世界。很多人认为流浪人士都是不想工作的懒惰者,认为他们不是吸毒就是酗酒,认为他们是自愿流落街头。但实际上,在我服务过的数百名流浪人士中,无论他们是年老还是年幼,是华裔还是白人,许多人并非自愿选择流浪,而命运多舛使他们被逼无奈。

The colour and liveliness given off by a noisy downtown was added by the neo lights and shadow-casting skyscrapers. But behind this bright, beautiful image was the dark and ugly side of the city: the homeless population. This Feed the Hungry program has led me to a shocking discovery of a homeless world in this rich, developed country -- a world that is plagued by a stigma and prejudice that homeless people are lazy and don’t want to work, that they use drugs and abuse alcohol, and that they choose to become homeless. But in fact, among the hundreds of people I’ve served, no matter old or young, Chinese or Western, many did not make the choice of becoming homeless. They were just unfortunate. 
 
虽然学校在我所在社区的服务活动已经结束,但我至今仍在主动地继续“为流浪汉送早餐”的服务。通过这项活动,我遇到了形形色色的人,在他们当中有的滑稽逗趣,有的让人愉悦,有的令人心酸。但他们的不同经历让我明白其境遇并非其本意使然,而是缘由于无奈和无法摆脱的困境。

Even though my community service required by the school is over, to this day I continue my service at Feed the Hungry. Through this program I’ve met various kinds of people—from the funniest to the sweetest to the saddest. They’ve taught me that homeless is not a choice and that for the plight they were in, they each have their own story to tell.
 
我在周六凌晨醒来,开始又一个为流浪街头人士提供早餐的忙碌清晨,而此时我的脑海里总会回荡着这名华裔女性流浪者的话语:“没有人愿意多看我一眼,在他们眼里我就像一片垃圾,但他们有所不知,流浪并非我的选择。”

      “No one even gives a damn about me, they look at me like I’m just a piece of trash. They don’t understand that I didn’t choose to live like this,” the Chinese woman’s words echo in my mind as I woke up in the wee hours of a Saturday, starting another busy morning of serving the unfortunates.  
 
 
 
 
 

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