Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Disturbing post, contains swearing. Don't read if you'll be offended!

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


  1. Wow thanks for the insight into life in the Jungle, must be so hard to want to help but not want to help to much to cause issues within family and friends!!!

  2. It's amazing what you can expect by the accident of your birth, isn't it? Thanks for bringing it to our attention, your first hand experience is much better than a bunch of stats.

  3. Thanks for sharing Ange. Life really seems so unfair for so many people. (hug)

  4. I feel for you are a braver woman than me to even be over there. I don't know what to say except, I agree on the fuckedness!

  5. I hope you can find a middle ground babe. That is pretty fucked. xoxoxox

  6. Well to my knowledge no one ever said anything was fair babe, including the poverty of third and fourth world countries, what makes it real is being there and seeing first hand what has been happening for centuries, well before Aus was settled and the world was deemed to be round, we are after all just one rung above some of the animal kingdom, and some would say we are smarter i wonder sometimes? anyway perspective is a marvelous thing if you can find it, and almost impossible to keep it. I think the important lesson in life that i have tried in vain to learn is not judge anyone

  7. What a sad story Ange!! I don't know how to make a comment. Your choice of words sum it up. I remember reading the tale of two men who were walking along a beach. As they walked, one man was picking up crabs and throwing them back in the sea. The other guy said "Why waste your time? You can never save them all!". The other guy replied "Maybe not, but try telling that to the ones I have thrown back!" This is not a totally accurate recall but you get the drift. In some way you will find a way to help one, two, three or maybe more. You may not make a big change but think how lucky those crabs felt!

  8. Life is life in so many ways. You cannot save everyone. It may be hard but you must learn to accept, or somehow live with the choices others make & the way they live. If you can help make one persons life just that little bit happier without any repurcussions you should feel you have achieved happiness yourself. It may not be the way you wish to live your life, or what you want for those close to you. But if they are happy & content with their lives, try & share a bit of that & learn to give a little more & take a little less for yourself. Balance & understanding are hard to find at the best of times. I dont't think most third world countries will ever achieve what we in the western world have in freedom & life choices. If you take a look around, you will find most locals are extremely happy & content with their way of life. Should this stop them form wanting more for themselves or their families? Of course not. Their road ahead is struck with quite a few more obstacles than ours. Faith is something you cannot argue with. It gives people a sense of belonging, safety & hope. Where there is hope there is life. Have hope & live your life.

  9. Thanks for all your comments. :-)

    Jenny i love that story!

    i hate that you are Anonymous, Anonymous! So many wise words. I know i can't save everyone, but wouldn't it be nice! I know they are happy and content, sometimes, but it doesn't change the heartbreak. Happy and content doesn't cure AIDS or domestic violence. Just because it's accepted doesn't make it right.
    Believe me i give as much of myself as i can and take as little as i can. but i still feel helpless. Jenny's story is somewhat encouraging. Doing a little for some is better than doing nothing for all......
    I have hope, and i have faith, but i also have sadness.

  10. just think of the greats who changed the world through their example ghandi, the dalai lama
    compassion is a part of the road to our human enlightenment ,if we all had more of it wouldnt life for all the community there be better?
    hope is looking forward to tommorow
    accepting all the emotions of the days and their lessons will motivate you to tackle the issues like violence and the unfair treatment of women.
    Coming from another culture is always a challenge, and people who are desensatized are probably taking the easy road.
    how boring!
    the power of one sends a wave, even if its a slow process have faith that things will improve, for ideas eventually can become real in time....
    just think of all the people who have dedicated their lives to change and improve things for us
    how humbling,
    people can be inspired and inspiring if given the chance
    patience is the key word for today
    tommorow well you can decide........