a child and a story
Until I went to Africa and saw the children face to face, the issues resided in my head as statistics, facts and numbers…
This child is no longer a number. This little girl has a unique story, she has a name, she has parents, a favorite game she liked to play back in her home in Rwanda and maybe a favorite color. I met her in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, where she was taking refuge in a medical center with her mother after crossing the border and receiving milk and medication with groups of other refugees, mostly women and children. She is one of millions affected by the conflict in the area and her future is unknown, unsafe and uncertain.
Another powerless victim in a war waged for no other purpose than the attainment of power.
got milk~ the reality edition~ girl Rwanda refugee in Goma
Each time I hear parents trying to convince their children in our western world to eat more, to drink more milk, to eat just another bite; my mind goes back to the children I met in Congo. A glass of milk can have the power to transform a desperate little face into a bright smiling one, the milk she drank out of utter need, no room for luxury in her world of fighting for survival.
I find myself showing my 7 year old daughter these photographs repeatedly while telling her stories to put more perspective into her life in my attempt to tip the scales away from materialism and towards a consciousness and humanity about other less fortunate humans we share this planet with.
I can only hope that this awareness will make a difference in her future life. The first step to actively helping is consciously knowing.
I am starting this series with faces of children because this is what impacted me the most. The innocence, the vulnerability, the undying hope in their eyes and the strong will to survive is where this story begins.
a smile where you least expect it
At times when I hear myself grumble about my coffee not being the right taste or temperature, my mind goes back to this smiling girl and to her story…
After months of living in terror, running from prosecution by militias, escaping bullets, rape, sickness and capture, this Rwandan child arrived in a UNICEF supported medical clinic in Goma(Democratic Republic of Congo) on the Rwanda border. She receives milk in this orange cup and still has energy to flash me a heartfelt smile from her beautiful face and eyes heavy with exhaustion.
For the month of April I will share stories and images from a live changing journey into war-torn Congo.
All photos were taken in October of 2009.
Flour, wax, sugar, salt, cotton, milk, talc and a few other unidentified items from around the house… these were the ingredients of Lea and her friend Emma’s experiment on the kitchen floor today. Part of the experiment I discovered later in the freezer and the other a couple of days later under Lea’s bed growing some little alien creatures!
Do you remember the days when you went around collecting things and mixing them up just to see what happens? I wonder if this is how recipes were first created? Take a child, a wild imagination, a keen curiosity and get ready for endless experiments, some very smelly and gross 🙂
It's no use crying over spilt milk
One of the most obvious laws on this planet is the passage of time in one single direction. Or at least this is how we perceive it. We may write books, make movies and fantasize about reversing time, but I have not met anyone yet who has done this, have you? So when something undesirable happens, it just cannot be undone, it is forever recorded in the archives of history which makes dwelling on it kind of pointless. It is the now and the future that we can influence, the past is only there to learn from.