Today!

Oops, I've been forgetting to blog. I haven't been forgetting to walk, although I must confess to doing so somewhat begrudgingly! There was a message today from Care, the people who are organising this endeavour, saying that we (you, my team, and me!) have raised enough money to provide a well for a village, and to teach them how to maintain it, and provide the tools. This gave me shivers. Real people in the real world are going to have water, because of our partnership!!!!

This morning I walked rather than ran. It was cold and windy, and dark when my alarm clock went off, today being the autumnal equinox here in the southern hemisphere. As I walked, I thought about Mrs Cate Sewagoma in Uganda. Her husband had been tortured to death, in her presence, during the terrifying era when Milton Obote was in leadership. She lives in the village of Kirema, caring for 5 orphans, whose parents were killed during the civil war. Her hut is very brown, and had no roof, as the rains had washed it away. I stayed there one night, on a hard piece of wood which was the most luxurious place for a guest to stay. There was a little circle of plants with a bucket of water, for me to wash. I felt very cared for. She was sweetly apologetic, explaining that the goat had eaten the soap. She walked with a little skip to her gait, and smilingly taught me how to say 'webele miriamo', thank you very much in Luganda.

I raised some funds for Mrs Sewagoma, and sent a bank cheque, and no banks would honour it. She had no income, and this international bank cheque was just an impotent piece of paper for her, money that she might have had. I felt very angry and frustrated and helpless as this story unfolded. The injustice and disempowerment runs so deeply. Helplessness, individually and collectively, is difficult to contend with.

I wish somehow some of this money we are raising now could go to Mrs Sewagoma. I know that the way international aid is structured means that it's only the lucky ones, in the communities being supported, who get access to the funding. My last week in Uganda was spent in Rakai, with a World Vision worker named Mary. It was such a relief for me to see the infrastructure of an agency at work - being a sole practitioner in Kirema had been very hope-quenching. I'd experienced helplessness when I had set of with such a lot of hope and idealism.

I think that is why I like this opportunity - a marriage of my Third World life and my Western life, usually so far removed from each other. Still, it is disquieting not to be able to practically assist Mrs Sewamgoma.

Comments

caroline said…
Its beautiful that you do that Meg!! And yes , you are making a diffrence in the world for sure! I love you for that and everythnig else !! Love love love caro.
Megs said…
danke schon dear Caro!

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