Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mama Congo and real life

Today, I want to share a post from a blog that I follow...that I think you should follow too.

Mama Congo is written by two American women who live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with their husbands and kids. I love hearing about people's lives in other countries – it’s fascinating! But to pick up your family and move to a country like the Congo - astounding. Have a look around their blog and at this website if you'd like, to see more of what life is like there.

The post I want to highlight is: The Picture That Did Me In. What Sarah describes here is an extremely common but shocking reality of how much of the world operates: with so little/access to so little, while the rest of us have so much/so much access. When I’m reminded of this disparity, I’m reminded that I actually have so much I can give (even when I think I don’t).
At  traffic lights here in SA, there are always a number of people begging or selling whatever odds and ends they can in order to makes some money. My heart breaks every time. I always watch them (and often try not to make eye contact, to be honest) and think: What if I had to do that? What if I had to try and sell pens or cell phone car chargers or cheap car decals to make a living? What if I just had to beg? How humbling that would be to me. Their’s is a whole other world that I really can’t even comprehend. (And these people probably have even a bit more than those who we don’t see.) And as I pass some of these people and drive into the grocery store, I have my choice of cereals, fruits, ice-creams, chips, breads, sodas, toothpaste, shampoo…even toilet paper. I can very quickly and easily feel guilty.

I wanted to highlight the post from Mama Congo because a) I thought it was great and I love their blog. But, b) to share a small part of my daily life here in SA. It can be hard to live with the realization that there is such a disparity between people…and I often feel like I’m furthering it when I keep purchasing multiple cereals or ice-creams…but it is a reality, but one that, I think, people are only better for when it’s realized. Because we have so much, we really can do so much. (OPTIONAL: I often hear people say that they don’t give money to those on the street because they don’t want the money to be used to buy drugs, cigarettes, etc. Well, when I first moved here, I learned from someone to try and keep food in my car/with me (bananas, bread, apples) that I can give out. It’s a small gesture, but it’s being active about the reality rather than moping about it.)

Let Mama Congo know if you like their blog – bloggers love to hear from you. :)

Love from the quickly summer-ing southern hemisphere,


(Oh, and at first I thought I should include more pictures in this post, but when I thought about what that meant…taking pictures of people from inside my car…that just didn’t sit well with me. It’s better to see some things for yourself.)

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