Mama Marie and Mama Malena. My hearts
In other countries people are held, often without cause, for peaceful demonstrations. They are held in political holding areas, some far from their homes. They are usually small. they are usually dirty, and sometimes they don’t eat unless someone is kind enough to bring them food. Those held in these situations want the right to an election. These people lose days (weeks, months or sometimes years) of their lives they will never get back. Some people who protest for their rights disappear and are never heard from again. This happens all over the world… *Disclaimer* if you don’t want to hear my ever so brief election thoughts, skip down to two paragraphs**
this is Bobby.. he has a machine gun and bunny ears. #ParkRanger
I won’t lie; I didn’t really follow the US election very closely. I read some of my families e-mail chain discussions, but I didn’t follow the debates or the polls. I just couldn’t stomach it. This past Wednesday, some friends and family cried for different reasons. Some because of the actual result, some from seeing reactions, some from hateful comments. I didn’t… until now. I can’t understand what is happening in the US. The things I’ve read from Christians and non-Christians alike, democrats and republicans. I’m floored by those “speaking out against hate” with hateful words and name-calling. ON BOTH SIDES. I’m thoroughly disgusted and saddened. I just watched a video where a group of young adults are beating another young man because of the t-shirt he chose in public after the election. Is that what the US is coming to?
Meanwhile, this morning I sat and listened, with a straight face but a broken heart, as a woman recounted her rape by the FDLR. A rape that brutalized her so badly, she was refused by 4 hospitals because they didn’t have the ability to help her. When she finally found a hospital that could help, she ended up having 9 surgeries to try and repair the damage. She was hospitalized for 5 years. Her husband abandoned her, her 3 children died, her next child (born from this rape) is being raised by her parents because it’s too much for her new husband to handle having a child that is not his in his house… and out of her 6 kids, only 2 are still alive. She is only 34. If you want to be upset about something… how about that. how about those types of atrocities around the world, including the US. Where are the voices for the people who really don’t have a “fair” situation? There is a lot of injustice in this world. A fair election, actual democracy, where the outcome is not what you wanted is not one of them. I’m not saying you don’t have the right to gather peacefully, but accept the results of a fair election, and do it with some sense of human decency. In the USA you have checks and balances. In other countries, checks and balances easily get you killed, get your family killed or both. Slavery, starvation… it exists in your very own communities. Don’t wait for an elected official to make a change. Be the change you want to see. It’s not a cliché.
I won’t say anymore about this. Let’s move on with respect regardless of someone elses opinions. As my mom told me when I was little (and I made fun of her for it well into my 20’s, right Sarah?!)… “kill em with kindness. Be the bigger person”.
As for the title of the blog…I had a storage unit made for our dining room (I still need to paint it and have the storage baskets made). It’s really sturdy and he didn’t charge much.
Kelly asked him to make one for her. Yesterday, we drove by the carpenter area in Goma to check on the status. When we pulled up, there were some boys playing on the GIANT mound of sawdust and wood chips. Naturally, 3 white girls in an SUV attracts attention… speaking Swahili gets double the attention. Soon Kelly and Lauren’s side of the car had about a dozen boys just chatting it up. They told us they were hungry. (I do not want to enable a handout mentality, so rather than just giving away money…) I told them they could earn it. Earn it they did! They put on quite a show for us. Enjoy.
Literally… they would have kept going. It was amazing. After they finished (or rather, after we finished filming) they came to collect payment. I asked “who’s the big boss here?” It was the kid in white shorts and tank top. I gave him two dollars and we watched them all run up the hill again to talk heatedly/excitedly about how to spend it. Awesome!!
Back at the center, Lauren taught the kids to call me “funny Jenni”… clearly, we are very in control of our classrooms. These kids are so smart and learning English so fast.