Saturday, August 29, 2009

The world is cold

I can't believe I just did that.
Let me lay out my last couple of days for you.
Friday : stressy parking practice, late for piano, frantically begin and finish VOC assignment, SLUM SURVIVOR, complete step into a different culture, and a different world. Begin with super intense slave labour simulation (causing me to be seriously traumatised and now afraid of newspaper) move on to begging the teachers for donations and building our lovely houses out of cardboard and tarp and whatnot. Dinner: none. Jojo read us a bedtime story, I became the mama of my little slum scum family when original mama had to go home. We piled into our lovely carboard 'houses' and tried to catch some Z's.

Friday night: finally get to sleep (to bed at half past six, with the sundown) after tolerating very annoying security light and wheelie doing people only to wake up an hour after, very awake. lie awake for a few hours, get up and wander for a bit. back to bed and back to sleep, only to be woken by a very genuine seeming jo, yelling and saying we have to get inside cos theres intruders in the school. rush into room, squish up away from windows, sit in fear for a bit, get told its just a scenario.Head grumpily back to bed.

Saturday: Predawn we are up and sent out rubbish picking, told that it will be very fortuitous to get lots of rubbish. so we hunt. It has been raining all night, everything is wet and muddy and soggy. we pick it up anyway, and return. Only to find that our family has the least, and we need to try and make stuff out of it and convince the teachers to buy it with the fake money we need for hypothetical medication and actual food.
Sit and sort through soggy disgusting rubbish, by this point have completely lost care factor that it is filthy. Make toy boat, jewelry, toy doll, paper hat, toy cooking set, battery baby and bat and ball set from rubbish and duct tape. Feel very proud of creations. Slight fail at spruiking and selling, considerable fail at getting enough rupees. could not afford 'medication' so all got crippled, pretend inflation meant that without the slum love of Middle McMuffin slum scum mum we wouldnt have eaten.

In the middle of selling, Jo says the LRA are coming and we gotta scram. much running and hiding around the school, in the rain. Then a hilarious time spent hiding behind the english block trying not to laugh while the mcmuffins farted. TOTAL hilarity. our slums got raided while we were gone, and when we got back we had to try to earn more rupees, some more failage on our part. due to the fact that we hid too long and missed the boat.

we had some VERY meagre lunch of a cup of rice and dahl between four of us and then we got organised for our peaceful protest up at the hub. we made signs saying 'keep your money,we want change' and scattered around the centre. it was freezing cold outside (where i was sitting) and we got quite a lot of interest, quite a bit of people giving loose change and whatnot. great stuff. then something amazing happened.
We'd given this guy a brochure as he went into the centre, then as he came back out a bit later, he said 'ive had a read of this, and i think what you're doing is awesome.' he pulled out his wallet and in my head i was like 'yaaay more loose change' then he vaguely pulled out a fifty, i thought he must have been looking for a five or something, a ten if we were lucky.
But no, he pulls out the fifty. and a second. he hands it to allana and says 'here you go'.
Saying our jaws hit the floor would be understating, allan cried and so did I, a little bit.

It was massive, cos one of my hardest hitting bits was in the slave simulation, making paper bags out of the pages of the paper, covered in the stories and pictures of people who don't give a flying crap what happens to the people who actually live like that.

And then this guy... he no joke restored my faith in humanity.
its incredible what a hundred bucks can do.

And one of the biggest things, is that not only did we get to go home at the end and they never get to go home, never get to know any different.

But not only do people really live like that, and for their whole lives. but the small change we collected today, and that hundred bucks, and that five, and that ten, and that two dollar coin.

They are real too, and they go to real people in the real world, in real pain.

We made a real difference, and thats the point.

Oh, and I finished slum at four, got home at 4:13, ate, showered, whirled into work like a tardy hurricane and didnt finsih until 9:30 cos it was INSANE (NB i normally finish at 830, 9 is late for me) and I'm still alive, and pumped to sing at church for my mum, practice at 830...woohoo.

And people try to tell me I do too much :)

and what a great way to finish this part of my weekend, with an unbelievably gun ho owen wilson movie with the most unsubtle music EVER. and saying 'oh he went there' at random inappropriate moments. good times. DUCT TAPE!!

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