Wednesday, May 2, 2007

38 days and counting

..till I leave the US concrete behind and hit the African soil. It's hard to imagine that I am about to leave everything behind for a taste of culture. That and the need to make a difference in the way the world works. I am not expecting to make miracles happen, but hope that at least I can make more people aware of a life outside their countries borders. Borders. We fence ourselves in so tightly that any change in a lifestyle would pull us so far outside of our comfort levels that we fear it.

We fear climate change but do nothing about reducing our emissions.
We fear immigration but forget that we were once all immigrants.
We fear loneliness but never once acknowledge our neighbors.
We fear cancer but keep puffing on the cigarette, and tipping the bottle.
We fear poverty but apply for another credit card to get what we need.

We are a nation that feeds off of fear, and that's how I see it.

We live in comfort and feel that we are doing what is needed to change the world. For example: we buy a bottle of water at a local coffee chain that claims to donate a whole 5 cents of the $2.00 bottle to helping children around the world get access to drinking water. What is wrong with this charity?

Let's start with the 5 cents... why just 5 cents? Because it was started by business men who need the $1.95 for overhead? I've read their story and I know they have been there building wells and promoting the cause but still why only 5 cents? What does that promote? A comfortable charity for the public to feel good about?

And are the children really profiting from us buying bottled water? Shouldn't we just drink our own tap and be thankful that we have wells of our own instead of purchasing a $2.oo bottle of water and in return just invest that money in the charities that are there building clean water sources in countries like Africa?

We should know better.

I guess of all things that's why I am going there. To really understand all these questions I ask myself. So don't touch the dial...stay tuned.

I will be reporting from the field in Togo, West Africa. A 27 month series.


africanox said...

Megan, Best of luck in Togo. I was a PCV there from 2003-2005 in the SBD program. had a fantastic experience, and wish I was in your shoes! let me know if you need any advice, etc before you leave. Gavin

Heather said...

See you in a month, I will be in Togo too, SBD! Please use my blogger thingy because I think I have logged into facebook about once in my life.
A bientot!