I haven’t blogged in a few weeks because I wasn’t sure what to say, or how to say it. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to say it. However, it’s a part of my reality, of living in a foreign country, of standing out wherever I go, of trying to fit in but never looking the part.
Just when I was starting to feel at home here, it happened. I was robbed at knifepoint a few weeks ago. It’s unfair how a few seconds can rob you of your security – security built over time, places, experiences and people. In a few seconds, it’s gone — abruptly taken by one person, one incident. I’m still trying to shake off all those emotions that go along with it – anger, sadness, longing for familiarity, frustration.
There is no worse feeling than not being able to communicate what you want to say when you need to say it. As I stood crying, gasping for air, attempting to communicate exactly what happened to me, all that came were tears and a few disconnected words. As a result of this casobodi (cash or body), my eyes have been opened to an entirely new world that remains unseen to the majority of the population — trying to communicate with police in a foreign language, dealing with an organization without adequate resources, power outages resulting in multiple trips to the police station, attempting to recreate lost items in a timely manner, unfair judicial system and nonsensical procedures…
I’m seeing it all — from healthcare to education to judicial procedures. It’s not just unclean water, it’s no access to a doctor. It’s not just one unqualified teacher, it’s years of knowledge and development lost. It’s not just a lack of fruit and vegetables, it’s lack of information about vitamins and nutrients. It extends so much further than pictures can capture, or sporadic visits can observe. It’s deep, it’s cyclical, and it takes root.