russian spoken here.


Posted in Africa by litingyu on December 30, 2008

(Written during my week of freetime in Africa, after leaving OHS and during malaria recovery.



14 December 2008
Meru House Inn, Room 504, Balcony

It astonishes me that the significance of certain things can be magnified or diminished when the situation becomes life or death.

How can a Global Studies paper demand so much of me when baby Bahati, who is just discovering the joy of walking, is going to die of AIDS in 5 years because clinics with corrupt technicians just happen to ‘run out’ out ARVS every week ?

I see the counter-argument…that getting an “A” on my GS paper may well be the catalyst for me working in international aid on a broader scale and helping many Bahatis in the future. 

But time moves mercilessly on.

And my Bahati will die. Or she won’t live past the age of 10. Do babies go to heaven? 

Adrian, Hori, Jess, and all others who have dedicated themselves to helping people, regardless of the imperfect methods, theories, or mindsets: I hold immense respect for you all. 11 weeks here and I already feel the weight of impossible heartache…impossible and unavoidable. And what foolish naivety I’m speaking with…what can a mere three months compare to all that you have seen and been through, withstood and carried?


“…the condition of the people is so crushing that you cannot get through to Reality.” 
– C.S. Lewis


 Suffering now has a face; death, a name. Babies I’ve cuddled and bathed, denied life past childhood because of greed and corruption. Children I’ve held hands with, left to fend for themselves on the streets facing beatings and rapings. Women who fight to feed and fend for their children, but failing and consequently losing them to the streets. 

And the hardest part to swallow is I have absolutely no control over their future…control, or knowledge of how their life will turn out.


“We all need something bigger than ourselves to believe in.”


What does exposure do for me? It’s as if the curtain has been lifted and I’m watching tragedy unfold through a thick pane of glass…and the most I can do is slam repeatedly on the transparent wall, to no avail. Muffled, silent. 


“Evil persists when good men fail to act. Or, evil persists.”


A catalyst to try harder. Find bricks heavy enough to break down the wall of corruption and apathy…and then what?

What is the difference between helping people and aid?

(Aid has become ‘fashionable.’ Elaborate later.)

I can’t help the world. But I sure as hell can try. 

What kind of outlook is that?? Setting out to do something you know you won’t succeed in. Pessimism or optimisim? In the long run, we all die and are either one with God, or shunned from his presence.

I’m at a place where I can accept the fact that I won’t understand everything, and that  sometimes there are no answers to my questions…or I’m not meant to know the answers. When will that moment be, when God knocks down my temple of cards? And I have a sneaking suspicion that at the end of all these round-about struggles, it all comes back to love.


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