Thursday, March 10, 2011
1 Hand 5 Fingers
Hold out your hand. 5 fingers. Imagine each finger representing a 24 hr period. This hand represents the amount of time before I get on a bus and begin my travels to Namibia. 5 days. Count it on one hand.
Last night we had our final Africa meeting. We had a pretty intense conversation. Mrs. Carter, who is basically our mom, told us vital information about being cautious while we were traveling through the cities and towns. She told us, that as women, we are more susceptible to danger. Now, I know every where you go there's risk invovled. Living is a risk. Sex trafficking, theft, and all these awful things happen in every country. But last night, the way she phrased it, even the walls trembled with fear. It went cold in the room as the joking came to a sudden holt, and everyones smirks fell from their faces. A frightened look blazed in their eyes. She described the way men look at women, using words like hunger, lust, desire, and insignificant. She recalled an experience while walking through a village, where she felt violated by the penetrating stares. These people have a single goal everyday. Survival. Life is not seen as valuable. People die everyday, it's a common occurance, so what's one more life?
The rule was established. They couldn't stress it enough. Girls are never to go anywhere without a boy.
Living in America my entire life, I watch women live for themselves. They don't need anyone to provide or "protect" them. They're capable of dealing with lifes struggles alone. Completely independent. I consider myself fairly independent apart from the fact that I rely on my parents for my boarding education. So this new instruction seems kind of repulsive. I guess for 2 weeks, I don't really have much choice. I'm sure in a situation like the one Mrs. Carter described I'd be more than happy to have a guy by my side.
Last night, a good friend of mine told me he was bringing a knife. I looked at him, and knew if anything were to go terribly wrong, he would give his life for me. For any girl I'm sure. This gave me quite a bit of reassurance, but didn't entirely put my mind at ease.
And so here I am, 5 days away from one of the biggest adventures of my life. Frightened, a little. Excited, substantially! Ready? Absolutely!