On Motherhood & Sanity

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's in a face? (and african public toilets)

Finally, my enthusiasm is back!

Today I finally felt like the old me, excited about the things I was seeing, eager to learn, to take pictures. We went first to Barr, and on the way I only cared about what was outside the car. It was nice to feel like that way again.

We spoke with a couple of kids who had changed their lives around through the project, going from out of school youth to having a job, one even had two jobs (one with the government which I guess doesn’t really take up too much of his time) because they could now use computers. They were now paying school fees for their siblings, and one of them was hoping to save enough money to go back to school herself.

Not one to be able to hold back for too long, and as we will be on the road for two weeks, I am also familiarizing myself with the local toilets. And let me tell you, it’s a steep learning curve. I keep thinking of movies like Slumdog Millionaire where people jump into the communal ‘dump’ in order to overcome a hurdle or reach something, and squatting over them I pray that I will never know the kind of desperation that would lead you to do such a thing.

One thing that I still find very frustrating and that I am loosing patience with is the constant expectation of hand outs. Of course they always want more, we all do really...

We met with local officials, teachers, and youth from several districts. There was one group in particular that caught my attention. There were four girls who looked downright traumatized. I kept looking into their eyes and trying to compare them to those of girls much younger in the group who would perhaps not have lived through the thick of it to see if I could recognize what was different. I could not, but their faces –to me- told a different story.

Back at the-hotel-of-the-day the walls were so thin I could hear my neighbor do his ablations and all other sorts of things that no one should have to share with a complete stranger


The Antiques Diva™ said...

What an interesting life you lead Angelica! Isn't it funny, how the woman behind the camera really should be the one in front of it!!!!

angelica said...

always so sweet Toma. It's because life is so interesting and beautiful that I'm unable to put the camera down....