It is when you think that everything is falling apart that it is actually falling together. These past few days have been tricky. Five day visit to the village without running water and a thin sheet sleeping on an cement floor left me weak. The fears and consumption of poverty left me frustrated. I was ok the first few days, but on day four when the rain continued and my nails were filled with filth I just about lost it. I packed up my kit and was ready to run for the hills or rather away from all this despair. I listened to the worries of farmers with failed crops and mothers struggling to provide for the family.
There was joy, but under the simplicity is a complex web of poverty of mind. In my frustration I planned my escape. Maybe I could quietly sneak out and forget the grandness of this problem. I walked out of my room to find what felt like the entire village waiting and worrying. News spread that I was unwell and everyone took a chance to help me back to health. Even my friend Green’s dad who is blind made his way up the hill. He showed me a way to massage my feet from a process he heard about on the radio. Her 80 year old grandmother brought some special oil to aid in the healing. Even Green’s 19 year old cousin who had taken me out of the village days earlier to buy bottled water wanted to take me to the village doctor.
I looked at these people as I shivered in pain and there I found my light. I saw that if they can find a love and sharing to me a strange girl in a small village, then I can find a love to empower them to dream outside of these hills. These hills of Suwug where the girls are left to prostituting their lives to feed their parents. In these hills we will open the gates through education. We met with the the AVEH team to begin our second program for 46 elementary school children. How can I be so selfish? How can I not see that this work can create miracles of opportunity if we work together? I can always have running water and beautiful things, but I cannot always have this blessing where I can be a part of such inner kindness. This is where I stand firm and we build a community of love.