A helping hand

As a white person, literally where ever you go in Zambia, someone will beg you for money. It can be at the grocery shop, while you're in your car at some junction waiting for the traffic light to turn green, out walking, sightseeing...you name it! White skin is synonymous with money.

Even though I've lived several years in Africa before, I never get used to this. Firstly, it breaks my heart to see so much suffering. Secondly, I don't have much money, and surtainly not enough to help everybody. It leafs you feeling terribly guttered. Besides, how do I choose who to help?? How do I judge who needs it the most? Is it the grandma without a job, who has two kids clinging to her feet where as the parents are more likely to have passed away due to HIV or other suvere illnesses, knowing she probably has 10 more mouths to feed back home? Or is it the three cute brothers at the age 7 - 12 who are strong and healthy, who has a blind, jobless mom and no dad, but who still has a chance to a good future if you can only help them out with money for school, uniforms and books? Or is it the lonely, blind, very, very old man (not too common zambia) who is always there? The one who walks around in the same seriously filthy clothes, with wholes everywhere, and who doesn't have enough money to buy any winter clothes to keep warm (it seriously is freezing these days), and even less for food. Or is it the guy with the big, open critical infection on his foot, where the foot has gotten swollen so badly, at least double the size, that it looks like he will have to ampuate it any minute to make it through, but who doesn't have enough money to go and see the doctor? 

There are so many people to help. Ones you've done one good thing for someone, you turn around and there is a whole ocean of people in the exact same situation just waiting. You end up feeling helpless, almost wanting to give up. Some days I just close my eyes pretending it's not there, that it's all just a bad dream. But right at the minute I open them again everything is the same. They are still there, right infront of me; the granny with the two kids, the three brothers, the old man, the guy with that serious health condition... 

I feel awfully selfish those days I get annoyed with them all, because I really do sometimes! ONE day out of the 180 days I've been here I just want to be left alone. Just ONE day! ...I miss driving over to my friend's house, or simply sit down on a bench anywhere observing dogs, people, kids (which i love), while relaxing and taking it all in. Or maybe buy an ice cream at the store and enjoy the beautiful, sunny day. Sometimes, for instance, I want to drop by the local shop just to get that ONE pack of rice that I'm missing for today's dinner which would take me about five minutes. But I make my dinner without the rice, because some days I can't handle going there, I'm simply not up for it as I know I´ll have a hand in my face and those eyes filled with desperation and hopelessness just staring at me.  

Anyways, I went to pick up Jackson, the guy with the terrible infection, some weeks back. His brother Lackson came along too. We went to the hospital. He had some blood tests, there amongst hepatitis and HIV, the last one mentioned he also tested for three months back (why not just make using a condome a good habit, one might ask. This is a typical problem down here, by the way). Luckily, he was perfectly fine. The reason for his open infections are due to an illness that he has which causes the white blodcells floating way too slow. White blood cells helps create a crust, but as his are so slow, his wounds will take for ever to heal. Heat is a real problem as bacteria loves it and will transform easily. Jackson got this six months back, during summertime, when the temperature is at it´s highest, therefore bacteria also played an important role here.

The medical system is a story of it's own (and too long to write about here now). Let's just say that after A LOT of back and forth, here and there, we manage to get everything done. Three hours later we were ready to go home again. He got creams, medicine, sink tablets (which is vital for his illness), and bandage enough to change for two weeks ahead. He was happy. His brother was happy. I was happy.
...untill he then asked me to pay for his car license so that he could get work as a taxi driver, and money for schooling as he had to drop out after grade 9 due to money issues, and for winter clothes (especially important for this disease).
I had already payed the medical bill for about $ 200, as well as food for two weeks ahead for him, his brother and their two flat mates. I was actually quite shocked to hear the words come out of his mouth as I had already told him very clearly that I now had spent all my money, which was the truth. 
I guess being that poor can make you think of nobody but yourself and your own situation. I don´t blame him, because after all I´m white and in his eyes also rich with the ability to help who ever I want.

Still, I some how always keep spare money in my wallet - just in case.

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29, Oslo

Hei, og velkommen til bloggen min!:) Jeg har alltid tusen baller i lufta, og elsker liv og røre. Har bodd to år i Afrika, og tre år nordpå. Jeg er en liten hobby-psykolog. Ellers liker jeg solnedganger, rettferdighet, hunder, hytteturer, romantikk, interiør, sur-søte drinker, åpenhet, musikk, spa, mennesker, opplevelser, fiske, snøscooter, religion, kultur, hår -og klesstyling, kids, ærlighet, glad-musikk og overraskelser. Jeg er utdannet hud, kropp -og SPAterapaut, men jobber ikke som det grunnet sykdommen min ME. Av samme grunn blogger jeg ikke daglig, men jeg håper du titter innom fra tid til annen likevel:) Følg meg gjerne på INSTAGRAM: kirsti_marie84

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