A Passion for Peace

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

She's Got a Ticket to Ride

I realized on Monday that my original plane ticket back to the US was in time to visit my dad for his birthday in August. I have done "better than my best" (as She & Him sing), and though we're not where I hoped we'd be, we've made such amazing progress. I've worked with so many motivated, wonderful, smart people. When people protest that they need me, I remind them I was never meant to stay forever. I aim to be a Mary Poppins: build their confidence and pride in their work, stabilize by using input to form workable systems so they can sort out future crises togther through positive collective action. It's a community project, and I think it's imperative the community, with helpful guidance from professionals, be empowered to dictate its direction. Otherwise we'll never break the cycle of the have-not's asking and not doing themselves, and the have's giving and thereby deciding, and the mutual resentment that such a system breeds. I say, 'You are doing this work! You are amazing. You started this project without me, and you'll continue without me. And I am teaching a few of you to use the computer so you can better do your jobs, but also selfishly so we can keep in touch!' (Photo: a hard day's work making thatch)

Which reminds me, last night my brother said he got all the selfish genes. He was sitting by the beach sipping sweet tea and eating a muffin and asked, "Don't you want this?" Yes and no. I appreciate that more when it's not an everyday occurence, when it's in contrast to, for example, what I did today. Coming full circle from my child sex abuse work in India, I learned of a man in one of the communities who's raped at least two children, one at age 6 and one at 13. The 13-year-old is now 16, and suffered a heart attack earlier this year before finally getting up the nerve to report what she's been living with, the poor stong girl. The man threatened to kill her and her family if she rtld, and now she says she feels much better that it's out. Her heart was breaking physically and emotionally, and now she can heal instead of hide. The good news is she has tested negative, and now victim counseling will begin at school and the local hospital for her. People have been pushing her to file a police report, and she doesn't want to. I told her she doesn't have to and tried to tip off the police. They weren't interested, but said her mother could report it. I treated mother and child to KFC & Coke for the ride home, which delighted them and honestly didn't smell appealing or like real food to me. I'm so spoiled from this fresh farm food.

Where to now? Looks like a visit to the land of plenty to see my very relieved family & see how many friends I can summon to visit me (or fund me to visit them, ha). I wish everyone here the best, and bid farewell with a heavy heart, full of admiration for all the hard work and positive people I've had the pleasure to know. In the spring the burnt grass will grow back a lighter, fresher green, and the buffalo, rhino, and all the people will keep on keepin' on. (Photos: friend's drive, and a close-up of the red: things are not always as they appear when close up)

Posted byValerie at 8:20 PM  


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