A Passion for Peace

Responsibility, respect and a loving connection with all beings and for this Earth we share.

Did you run into the rhino on your way in?

Thus my boss greeted me yesterday morning. Actually biked the long non-hypotenuse path into office, so I did not run into a rhino. I suspect if I had I wouldn’t be here to tell. Cycling strengthens the legs, sure, but you’d be surprised how fast those fatties can chase if they want to do. Thankfully they don’t chase. Lately the bush pigs have taken to poorly stalking me when I cycle. I see their busy little tails bobbing in the grass just ahead of me, then they scurry across the road with a grunt as if oops! I caught them and run along the other side. The tips of their tails look a bit like a lion’s with a cute little tuft. They’re so fast they’re hard to photograph. Hope this will do.

Meanwhile, there’s drama with the family I got the emergency grant for—the mother is still not making an effort to care for her kids, and her uncle who is the adult on the grant since the mother is unreliable, has locked the food in his room and is feeding his wife and children and still starving the kids we got the grant for. I could tell when I saw one of the kids—she was listless and when I was alone with her she quickly scarfed down the bananas and egg I brought. So, we’re having an emergency meeting with the community leaders tomorrow. These poor kids are getting it from all angles! I am getting too attached to the more ill twin—I want to take her home and love her. I want to hug her when she’s in pain instead of watching her to lean on someone’s legs. I want to kiss her head and hold her and feed her fresh food every day. Good thing I’m in no position to adopt. Gotta be careful I don’t turn into the next Angelina Jolie, picking up kids instead of souvenirs when I travel.

I’ve been enjoying doing conflict resolution workshops with another NGO and with employees here, and they’ve been responding and participating well, although it seems there’s so much distrust between employees and management that now there’s some suspicion I’m trying to influence employees in management’s favor with these trainings. At least I’m teaching conflict resolution and negotiation skills so when employees meet with the union or with management they can choose to use the skills and think about issues in a deeper way, think about interests instead of positions, for example. I’ve just come from India, a country known for castes, yet it feels much more caste-like here. The other day someone said it’s so nice I treat blacks and whites the same, and please keep doing it. I’m glad people feel that way, and it’s distressing that’s not the general attitude. I wonder how much race plays into issues and negative assumptions here. Maybe it helps that in India everyone is brown!

Sorry, this seems like a heavy post. I think I have been taking too much in. As people here say when something's too spicy or just too much: it's too hectic. So on a lighter note let me add that I spent Saturday with my boss’s kids playing cards, reading comics, making sushi, feeding fish and geese and bunnies, taking funny trampoline photos, sipping fresh juice, and drawing pictures. It was very fun—and then I spent Sunday doing pretty much nothing: reading and relaxing and chatting at home, mostly alone. I needed to refuel-. Definitely not ready to take on three kids full time. I do love borrowing them, though! (Photo: kids playing in psychomotor training at our Resource Centre)

Posted byValerie at 8:47 PM  


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