You know those nights when you just can't sleep. The last time it happened to me i was 9 months pregnant and i think my body was trying to prepare me for a lot of months of little sleep. ;-) But tonight i ain't up the duff and my kids are sleeping through the night. I am lying in bed thinking of the fuckedness of living in this developing nation. (is that even a word, it somehow seems more acceptable if the word isn't correct?! whatever, i'm frustrated at life here.)
The compensation system here is pretty harsh. A 17year old girl, studying at bording school, year 11. Got mixed up with a boy who apparently already had a girlfriend. She phoned her mother and asked her for $150. She had to give this to the boys girlfriend as compensation for fooling with her man. Her mum said no, don't be ridiculous. 2 days later she was found hanging in her room. Whether she took her own life or not is in question, but regardless of that, it is fucked. Either she was murdered or took her own life for fear of the repercussions of not paying her compensation. And not to mention how her mother must be feeling.
A young man with 3 kids died of bowel cancer on the weekend. If you live out here and get cancer you basically die. Unless you have money there is no medical imaging, there is no radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, there is nothing. Pretty much a panadol, some antibiotics and a teaspoon of harden the f up. How is that fair?
A six year old disabled boy lives with his mother, grandmother, baby brother and Aunt nearby in a one room shack. He can't walk, talk, feed himself, he is incontinent and they have no support, no money no nothing. They take it in turns to care for him, carrying him around and tending to his needs. The grandmother is the bread winner, but she is old and isn't all that well. They seem happy enough, but how tough does life have to be? They think they are lucky to live in a little house with one powerpoint!? And what will become of them when she is dismissed for reaching the ripe old retirement age of 55? (pretty sure she's well past that but most people round here have no idea when their birthday is so they make it up)
It's great that the simple things here make people happy it really is, because if they didn't find joy in the simple things they really would have nothing. I used to wonder how people living in such conditions can believe in god, why on earth would they prey and worship someone/thing and give thanks for what they have?! It infuriates me that they donate so much money to their church when they have none. But i now i realise that everyone needs a little hope, and if going to church and donating money gives them a little light then good on them. Not to say i'll be going in the near future, but i can understand why people here chose to go.
I don't want to become desensitised to life here. So many expats are. I don't want to be like that. Already my perceptions have changed a little, i've had to wise up a little. Generally i try and see the best in everybody, but in a country where there is nothing, petty crime is rife you need to be cautious. If i give too much to my house staff their friends and family get jealous and fights begin. If i give something to someone else my house staff get jealous and say i should be giving it to them. (not to my face, but gossips travels fast here. ;-) ) In a world where there is nothing, something as small as a biro is a prized posession, so i can hardly blame them for they fights, but i don't want to cause them....
Anyway, i can't sleep, so thought i'd have a bit of blogging therapy. Might give the sleep thing another shot. Night. x