I live in fear of being cliché, but I am learning to embrace the fact that just because life is full of clichés and what I’ve done and what you’ve done is cliché doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean something. It is real for me. It is real for you. And that is life. So bear with me as I spout clichés. As I am not bound to paint a pretty picture here for donors and I am here on my own penny, I'm going to just write this.
Why did I want to do this? This tear off into the unknown thing? Perhaps, I’ve graduated with a liberal arts degree, let’s put off inevitable thing? Perhaps the I just want to find myself thing? Despite dealing with the reality of the fact that I’m here, it did in fact, begin with a God thing.
I chose to come here in the height of a God time. Such is the curse of the Christian walk, the high times and the low ones. But what is talked of the least in this walk is the lethargic, numb times. In these times I almost beg for low times because that demands action, an out put of energy toward movement. The problem with feeling nothing is……nothing. Simply, waiting. Or not even realizing that you are waiting. Lethargy, the sluggish killer and thief of faith.
So let me paint you my picture. But this comes with a warning tag. For those of you who had hope for me, that I would discover something, this land is desolate. For those of you who were envious of my experience, (while it may not have been the particular route you would choose, would relish a chance at some jolt of life) don’t hold your breath.
I am doing thankless work. Oh yes, I play with the orphaned children and teach those deprived of an education full of the resources we take for granted in the States. (such as paper) I don’t have the energy to even enter the sphere of my failings as a teacher. But I can assure you there are plenty.
But the girls have been burnt by the world and do not give their love freely. And because of this, they are more prone to scorn those who have come to embrace them. I do not blame them for this but it hurts all the same. One day, one of the girls, Abigal showed be her photo album. In it were pictures of her as she grew in the home and also…….pictures of her with about half a dozen other female, American 20 somethings that could easily have been me. That is why the girls here didn’t make the fuss over us I thought they would. They feel like an exhibition, and we are the tourists who breeze through and try and extract some kind of life meaning. It’s really cruel actually. These girls have gone from (often) one exploitive existence to another. We pause and gander at them for a mere year. And then that’s it. We leave. We leave. And they’re still here. And what do they owe me? So being here just feels like a completely selfish act. I came thinking I could offer something. Stupidly I tried to diffuse that by saying that I was aware that this would be more for me than for them. But I still held out hope that that would not be true. After all of that run around talk I find that my hands are empty, my heart hurts, and these girls have nothing to apologize for and I would like nothing more than to blame them.
So there it is. Hurt making hurt birthing hurt breeding hurt. I think the thing I’m starting to understand about these girls is that they don’t trust anyone. Not the women who take care of them, hardly even each other.
That said, there are good days but the bad always seem to outweigh them. Or even worse, that lethargy, that creeps. That is my fear, that I’ll give up. Are there good things? Of course. I could fill a book of things I’m grateful for. And those things that make me smile everyday.
Right now its one foot in front of the other. Different day, same crap. Boy, I’m really holding out for that cliché to come in and save my bacon. That one day, soon, I’ll wake up and say, “And THAT is why I’m here.”