Monday, 14 January 2013

The lucky ones

A friend of mine is in Africa on her first big trip overseas. She's gone to South Sudan, with a bunch of other women, to construct an orphanage

What she is doing, what they have done so far, is amazing.

Today she sent this message after meeting a little 9 year old boy:

"Gadisa is 9 years of age and doesn't go to school because he is profoundly deaf and the local school can't cater to his needs. This boy has never seen a doctor for his disability. We had the privilege... of visiting him in his home today and he proudly showed us his writing book, in spite of this. His writing was beautiful and his maths exercises all correct. This dear little boy works on his reading and writing most mornings and tends a neighbors cattle in the afternoon, earning around $1.20 per month."

This little boy sleeps on a mattress on a dirt floor shared with a brother and sister. One tattered blanket covers them at night. Their father has TB, their mother works in the hotel where my friend was staying as a housemaid making nearly $5 a month.  She invited the women to her home but was ashamed she could offer them nothing to eat or drink. She had nothing.

It's been on my mind all day. Last night, I had terse words with my husband and daughter in the supermarket because I'd taken a chicken out to roast and my daughter had complained. It's probably her least favourite meal but with a wedding to pay for, I'm trying to be more economical. My husband had also questioned another purchase, and I'd lost it, hearing words I recognised from my mother "I'm not running a restaurant".

Cooking meals isn't the issue for me so much, it's the never ending planning. So I've drawn up a roster and told them all I'm cooking what I'm cooking and they'll eat it or make their own.

I wonder what Gadisa would make of a roast chicken.

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